Beautiful egg or chrysalis
Location: Cherokee County, NC
August 23, 2010 5:28 pm
I’ve seen these things every now and then, but I’ve never been able to find an image(or identification for that matter) of them online.
The ”capsule” was hanging from a thread about an inch long that was fastened to the underside of a privet leaf. It reminds me of a lacewing’s egg, but I’ve never seen one this color, and image searches proved to be useless as well. I figure that it could possibly be some sort of chrysalis, but it’s rather small and seems to be fairly smooth.
Any ID or some pointers leading to an ID is greatly appreciated. I love checking in on the site every day or two to see what’s new.
We opened your photo and letter the other day, and we were pressed for time and we didn’t know where to begin with your identification. Today, we were trying to identify an Ichneumon image that was sent to us and we stumbled across this posting on BugGuide that is identified as the Cocoon of an Ichneumon in the subfamily Campopleginae. Bingo, that was your cocoon. Please excuse the late response. We identified this mystery quite by accident and then we had to go through old mail to locate your letter. Luckily the subject line was memorable. Here is the comment Charley Elseman posted to BugGuide: “One of many subfamilies of ichneumonids. Most other ichneumonids form cocoons within their hosts, or at least within their hosts’ cocoons, and as far as I know none have fancy patterns like this. I think that many different campoplegines make cocoons with a pattern reminiscent of this one, but only a few suspend them from a string like this. Bob Carlson may be able to say something more specific about it.” Bob Patterson wrote this comment: “See the page on Parasites, Predators and Parasitoids at MPG. There is no doubt equivalent and even better material to be found here at BugGuide.“
Thanks for the identification! That link to BugGuide helped ID some of the little wasps that have been sneaking around the house lately on top of helping to ID the cocoon.