What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug in backyard
Location: Stafford Tx. USA
April 24, 2013 12:06 pm
I live in Stafford TX and found this critter in my yard on a piece of iron…what is it??? Should we run !!!
Signature: Randy

Possibly Underwing Caterpillar, possibly Parasitized by Wasps

Possibly Underwing Caterpillar, possibly Parasitized by Wasps

Dear Randy,
This is a most curious set of photos, and we are requesting assistance from Eric Eaton prior to posting.  This is a Caterpillar and we believe it might be an Underwing Caterpillar in the genus
Catocala.  They grow quite large.  You can also compare your image to this photo of an Underwing Caterpillar on BugGuide.  We are most curious about the surrounding objects.  They look like the pupae of parasitic Wasps known as Braconids.  The wasps are generally quite species specific.  Here is a photo from our archive of a Hornworm parasitized by Braconids.  The curious thing about your photo is that the pupae are not attached to the caterpillar.  Again, we hope to get a more professional opinion for you.

Underwing Caterpillar and possible Parasites

Underwing Caterpillar and possible Parasites

Daniel:
I’m not an expert on caterpillars, but I think your scenario is right on.  Definitely braconid pupae.  This would be something interesting for Bugguide, and maybe someone else there knows more.
As of yesterday I am now writing blogs (ghostwriting, actually) for The Blogger Pool for a major third party client in the pest control industry.  So, I may not always get back to you as quickly as usual.  Plus, my wife and I are visiting her family out of state May 5-13, just so you know I won’t be online very often then.
Eric

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Stafford, Texas

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