Less than l/8" long; hardly big enough to see. Predator wasp hatching from its cocoon on a Tomato Hornworm. Wasp eggs are laid inside the Hornworm's body where they hatch into larvae. The larva feed on the Hornworm's muscle tissues. Heart and other essential organs are not fed on until the larvae mature. The Hornworm remains alive but paralyzed and becomes a buffet of fresh food sustenance for the wasp larvae. In approximately a week the larvae mature, exit the Hornworm through a hole created in its skin and build a silken cocoon on the outside of the Hornworm. The larvae become adult wasps within the cocoon, hatch and fly off to find another Hornworm to infect.
Spotted in backyard garden on a tomato plant.
I have found the name "Braconid Wasp" in relation to these predator wasps but am not sure if this is right.