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  Parasitoidism describes a parasitic association (see parasitism) in which the host is ultimately killed by the parasite. The phenomenon is most common in wasp species where the female lays her eggs in, on, or in the path of another insect, usually a grub. The wasp larvae hatch and burrow within the host, feeding on its viscera and growing, until they burst out, killing the host. Parasitoids are important insect predators (see biological control) and are successful in their aggressive strategy because the host rarely survives and so cannot evolve an immune response, and because the free-living stages allow for efficient transmission. RB

See also parasitology.Further reading Philip Whitfield, The Biology of Parasitism.



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