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Sphinx Caterpillar

Description:

Eggs From a parasitic wasp cover a dead caterpillar

Habitat:

Vacant lot in south Florida ?

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8 Comments

YukoChartraw
YukoChartraw 9 years ago

Thanks for the update Giovanni!
I wonder if he can still pupate with all those cocoons if he survives.

GiovanniBonelli
GiovanniBonelli 9 years ago

Update: the caterpillar is alive and contracted when touched with a stick.

a Parasitoid wasp. The caterpillar is a Sphinx but I can't confirm the species because of the mass of eggs

YukoChartraw
YukoChartraw 9 years ago

Very Interesting.
Do this particular type of wasp always lay eggs in this particular type of caterpillar? Or do they lay eggs in other species or plants, etc.?

LivanEscudero
LivanEscudero 9 years ago

Yuko, I've read (though I'm not entirely sure) that some caterpillars actually survive this. I imagine it has to do with the number of parasites present, and maybe if they affect a crucial part of the body or not. At any rate they are a good biological control for caterpillars that of course can harm plants if left unchecked.
http://www.gardengrapevine.com/HornWormB...

YukoChartraw
YukoChartraw 9 years ago

Oh no! Poor guy!! :( :( :(
Must be a nightmare for caterpillars! Do they die slowly?? :( :(

LivanEscudero
LivanEscudero 9 years ago

By the way you can change this to Arthropods. Look at this similar spotting of mine http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/831... you may want to submit yous to that interactivity mission.

LivanEscudero
LivanEscudero 9 years ago

Parasites. Those are wasp cocoons (a kind of Braconid Wasp) and they don't look open yet. The eggs were laid in the caterpillar, the larva fed and grew in the body, then they bore out of the skin and weave their cocoons. The tips of the cocoons will open like little lids and out will come adult wasps.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/129248

GiovanniBonelli
Spotted by
GiovanniBonelli

Davie, Florida, USA

Spotted on Nov 25, 2012
Submitted on Nov 24, 2012

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