Pea Aphid mummy, Acyrthosiphon pisum
Davis, California, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2003

This unfortunate aphid is being consumed from within by the developing larva of a small parasitic wasp.  Within a few days the wasp will emerge, leaving behind the dead shell of its host. Parasitized aphids like this one are referred to as "mummies". 

This image is copyrighted by the photographer and cannot be used without permission. To obtain permission to use this image, please email Alex Wild. (alwild (at)  Most of the photographs on are reduced from their original size and compressed for more efficient web transmission.  In some cases, higher quality versions are available.

This image was captured with a Canon EOS D60, with a Canon 65/2.8 MPE 1-5x Macro lens.