At the most basic level, predators kill and eat other organisms. However, the concept of predation is broad, defined differently in different contexts, and includes a wide variety of feeding methods; and some relationships that result in the prey's death are not generally called predation. A parasitoid, such as an ichneumon wasp, lays its eggs in or on its host; the eggs hatch into larvae, which eat the host, and it inevitably dies. Zoologists generally call this a form of parasitism, though conventionally parasites are thought not to kill their hosts. A predator can be defined to differ from a parasitoid in two ways: it kills its prey immediately; and it has many prey, captured over its lifetime, where a parasitoid's larva has just one, or at least has its food supply provisioned for it on just one occasion.
Relation of predation to other feeding strategies
There are other difficult and borderline cases. Micropredators are small animals that, like predators, feed entirely on other organisms; they include fleas and mosquitoes that consume blood from living animals, and aphids that consume sap from living plants. However, since they typically do not kill their hosts, they are now often thought of as parasites. Animals that graze on phytoplankton or mats of microbes are predators, as they consume and kill their food organisms; but herbivores that browse leaves are not, as their food plants usually survive the assault. However, when animals eat seeds (seed predation or granivory) or eggs (egg predation), they are consuming entire living organisms, which by definition makes them predators, albeit unconventional ones: for instance, a mouse that eats grass seeds has no adaptations for tracking, catching and subduing prey and its teeth are not adapted to slicing through flesh.
Scavengers, organisms that only eat organisms found already dead, are not predators, but many predators such as the jackal and the hyena scavenge when the opportunity arises. Among invertebrates, social wasps (yellowjackets) are both hunters and scavengers of other insects.