Currently viewing the category: "Braconids and Chalcids"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Niagara Ontario area
Date: 09/04/2018
Time: 11:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This caterpillar was hanging on my tomato plant with all these white things on it.
Next morning it was on the ground with most of the white things off of it.
How you want your letter signed:  Pina

Dead Tobacco Hornworm with Braconid Pupae

Dear Pina,
This Tobacco Hornworm or Carolina Sphinx is quite dead, but while it was still alive, it was parasitized by a Braconid Wasp.  When the wasp larvae hatched, they feed on the non-vital tissues of the hornworm until they were ready to leave the host and pupate.  The white things are the Braconid pupae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Yellow winged tiny wasp like insects
Geographic location of the bug:  California
Date: 08/31/2018
Time: 01:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this on my car and i never seen this before i tried looking it up on internet but no pics or anything wondering if you can help please im curious
How you want your letter signed:  Adrian Barbosa

Chalcidid Wasp

Dear Adrian,
This is a parasitoid Chalcidid Wasp, probably in the genus
Conura, formerly Spilochalcis.  According to BugGuide:  “most attack Lepidoptera pupae; a few parasitize Coleoptera (Chrysomelidae, Curculionidae) and Diptera (Syrphidae); some are secondary parasites of Ichneumonidae and Braconidae.”

Chalcidid Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar Found on a tomato plant
Geographic location of the bug:  Bridgeview, IL
Date: 08/25/2018
Time: 10:09 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Are those eggs on it’s back?  Do i need to worry?
How you want your letter signed:  Steve Guptill

Parasitized Tobacco Hornworm

Dear Steve,
Your caterpillar is a Tobacco Hornworm, and what you have mistaken for eggs are the pupae of a parasitic Braconid Wasp.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Stickbug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Silver Spring, MD
Date: 08/12/2018
Time: 12:14 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in the back yard.  Looks like there maybe eggs on its back.  Is it going to mess up my garden?
How you want your letter signed:  Gene

Parasitized Inchworm with Chalcid Pupae

Dear Gene,
Your “stickbug” is an Inchworm or Spanworm, the caterpillar of a moth in the family Geometridae, and they are excellent twig mimics.  What you have mistaken for eggs are actually the pupae of parasitoid Chalcid Wasps.  Here is a similarly parasitized Inchworm on BugGuide and here is an image of the Chalcid Wasp that emerged, also on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown hymenopteran
Geographic location of the bug:  south eastern PA
Date: 07/10/2018
Time: 04:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello. I am the plant protection intern at Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania and our arborist saw this insect fly out of a diseased Juniper. Can you please help me to ID it? I am sorry that he removed the insect’s head. I took this video because it is still moving.
Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Jenny

Braconid, we believe

Hi Jenny,
Because of the coloration, what appears to be a long ovipositor at the tip of the abdomen, and the written description that it emerged from a diseased juniper, we believe this is a Braconid, a parasitoid Hymenopteran in the family Braconidae, which is well represented on BugGuide.  We have an old posting of Braconids swarming on a grape trunk in California, and at that time, Eric Eaton noted “so few braconids are parasitic on wood borers.”  We also have this UK sighting in our archives that we believe to be in the genus
Atanycolus.  That genus is represented on BugGuide where it states:  “Parasites of woodboring beetle larvae, especially metallic wood-boring beetles (Buprestidae) and longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae).”  Since your juniper is diseased, it is probably infested with wood boring beetle larvae, the natural prey for parasitoid Braconids in the genus Atanycolus, so your arborist seems to have decapitated a beneficial predator and part of the solution, and not the cause of the problem for the tree, which is why we will be tagging the posting as Unnecessary Carnage.  If the tree does have a bad infestation of borer grubs, you might see additional Braconids emerge.  The female Braconid uses her ovipositor to deposit eggs beneath the bark of an infested tree or other woody plant, and the hatched larvae feed on the larvae of the beetles.  Adults emerge after pupation, so it is an understandable mistake to believe the Braconid is a harmful insect when it emerges from the tree.  We hope the information we provided will score you a few extra intern points.  

Great. Thank you so much for the very detailed response. It was sad to see that a good insect was decapitated, although it was an honest mistake. I was not there when it happened 🙁 I realized that my post still said video, even though I sent a picture. I was unable to upload the video file to the site because it was too large, but I have attached it here. It is very unsettling, especially when the poor wasp’s wings move.
Jenny

Braconid Wasp

Thanks Jenny,
We were able to get a better still from the video to illustrate the posting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Red Bodied Winged Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Clearwater Florida
Date: 09/27/2017
Time: 11:32 AM EDT
Hi Bugman Saw this bug in Clearwater Florida. It’s a really Cool! looking bug. If you have the time – Would you Please identify for me. Thank You Very Much! Brent
How you want your letter signed:  Brent Hansen

Braconid: Bracon species

Dear Brent,
Your images are both gorgeous and perfect for attempting an identification:  dorsal and ventral views.  We must also confess that we identified your Braconid Wasp early this morning, but the time clock began ringing.  Your pretty female, as evidenced by her lengthy ovipositor, looks to us like this member of the genus
Bracon that is pictured on BugGuide.

Braconid: Bracon species

Hi Daniel Thank You Very Much!!! for the compliment and for your quick response and identification. Have a Great Day! Brent

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination