Oh no! One of the Vine Sphinx moth caterpillar…

Oh no! One of the Vine Sphinx moth caterpillars has parasitoids! This caterpillar looked perfectly normal last night, but today it was covered in braconid wasp cocoons. In the gifs, you can actually see some of the bare larvae (white wormy things) spinning their cocoons.

Unfortunately, these wasps will kill the caterpillar. In the top photo, you can see a white spot towards his head, in his side in front of his first proleg. That spot is a larvae digging its way out of the caterpillar.

I’ve seen the cocoons on some small caterpillars before, but I’ve never seen this in progress, especially not on a large caterpillar! It’s a little sad, but wow, so interesting. Can’t wait to collect the wasps!

July 5, 2018