Subject: What kind of cocoon did I find on my Cannabis plant?
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Time: 5:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman.
My plants are growing taller and I have seen some tiny California Mantids and young Green Lynx Spiders prowling for prey. It is funny how I watched the same predators on my plants last year. There are also numerous immature hopping insects I know are not beneficial to my plants, so I have been squashing them instead of taking their picture, but today I found this very interesting cocoon thing on the leaf of a girl that grew from a seed that came from a Grand Daddy Purple X Blueberry Haze plant I grew last year. Sorry, but I removed it before taking a photo, so I made a dramatic recreation of the way I found it on the underside of a leaf. I hope you enjoy my still life. Please tell me what it is. I really want to know What’s That Bug?
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener
Dear Constant Gardener,
This is a very exciting posting for us. We instantly recognized this Ichneumon cocoon in the genus Charops from identification requests we have received from Taiwan and from South Africa. Ichneumon Wasps are parasitoids, meaning the female wasp lays eggs on a larval host, and the larva that hatches then feeds on the internal organs of a host insect or arthropod, eventually killing the host as the larva nears maturity. According to BugGuide: “Known hosts include Tarachidia erastrioides (Grenee) and the green clover worm, Plathypena scabra (Fabricius), both noctuids. (Anonymous 1974)”. You might need to add Ichneumon Wasps from the genus Charops to the list of patrolling predators in your garden.