I found a tussock moth caterpillar around my house with the wasp casings still attached. The weirdest part was that it was very active and it seemed almost normal despite the "rice grains." I didnt know that they lived at all after the wasps emerge so I was surprized to say the least.
I saw something like this recently as well (and I still have no idea what the things actually were). This is on an American Dagger Moth caterpillar:
I can’t remember if I actually touched them, but I seem to recall that they felt hard and rigid. And this caterpillar was still alive and active, happily munching away at boxelder leaves. I really have no idea what these things are, so if anybody knows (or has some crazy guess), PLEASE tell me!
By contrast, my poor Vine Sphinx baby didn’t really move after the braconid larvae popped out. He stopped eating and didn’t walk at all, but I know he was still alive because he would occasionally shift a little in how he was holding onto his stem, and sometimes would twitch a little.
Caterpillar anatomy is a little weird though (well, all insect anatomy is weird). If the caterpillar only has a few wasps, and if the wasps didn’t eat through any essential organs, the caterpillar very well could live for a while without too much consequence. I have no idea if they can fully recover and pupate after parasitization though!
Photos from May 16 at the Colorado River in Austin, TX / Posted July 11, 2018