Subject: Parasite chain!
May 13, 2014 4:09 am
Hi Bug people!
My son and I were witness to a great story unfolding a few days ago. It started with someone eating my son’s colrabi plants, and upon close inspection we collected several cabbage white caterpillars and put them in a large glass jar, along with a few cabbage leaves (from the store but they didn’t complain), and covered with gauze.
Within a couple days, the caterpillars (all of them) climbed up the sides of the jar, anchored themselves to the glass, and died. Numerous small yellow maggots emerged from each one and pupated, so each corpse was surrounded by what looked like yellow woolly rice.
We took some pictures and waited a few more days, and walla! Wasps! (I’m guessing braconids of some sort, but I can’t be sure).
The colrabi – caterpillar – wasp cycle was complete!
I’m attaching some of the pictures so you and your viewers can enjoy.
Signature: Ben, from Israel
Thanks for sending us these wonderful images of the life cycle of a Parasitic Wasp. We cannot say for certain what family of Parasitoids this wasp is classified into. We located an image on Visuals Unlimited of a similarly parasitized Cabbage White Caterpillar, and the parasitoid is identified as Cotesia glomerata. Cotesia glomerata is classified as a Braconid on BugGuide, and the adult wasp pictured on BugGuide also looks like your individual, so we are concluding that you are most likely correct.