Subject: Is this an American Daggar Moth Caterpillar?
Location: Cleveland, OH
August 8, 2014 5:28 pm
I have seen so many of these caterpillars this year in my backyard! I think this is an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar, but why does it have these weird things on its back? All of these caterpillars are surrounding my pool and sometimes fall in.
Signature: MissX

Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar with Parasitoid Pupae

Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar with Parasitoid Pupae

Dear MissX,
In our opinion, this is a Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota harrisii, and it is host to the pupae of a parasitoid wasp, most likely a Braconid.  Parasitoid Wasps are often very host specific, preying upon a single species or genus.  Parasitoids feed on the internal organs of the host species, eventually killing the host.  See this matching image on BugGuide and this matching image on BugGuide.

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Location: Cleveland, Ohio

3 Responses to Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar with Parasitoid Pupae

  1. Anna Baker says:

    We noticed a very similar caterpillar today–near a sycamore tree. It had many more egg-type sacs on it. They almost looked hollow. Could the wasps have hatched? Near Indianapolis, 9/4/14
    Zionsville, In

  2. Dr. A.K.M. Ziaur Rahman says:

    I have collected some tussock moths from guava plant. I reared it and found parasitoid those had long filliform antennae. Abdomen consists of 11 segmented with alternate white and black colored segments alternately. Please try to send me the name of parasitoid

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