Currently viewing the category: "Braconids and Chalcids"
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Subject: TINY BEE?
Location: Fannie, Ark.
October 24, 2014 5:46 pm
This little bee (when I say little I mean smaller than the head of a pin) appeared in a photograph I took of another insect (Bluet). I literally could not see it until I had cropped the picture. It was on a Sicklepod Senna leaf. I didn’t think bees could get this tiny!
Signature: Bill

Chalcid Wasp

Chalcid Wasp

Dear Bill,
This is not a Bee, but rather a parasitic wasp in the family Chalcididae.  We believe we have identified it as
Conura amoena, and according to BugGuide:  “hosts: hairstreak butterflies (Theclinae).”  Most parasitic wasps prey upon the immature stages of insects, and we are guessing that this Chalcid Wasp was searching for caterpillars, though of the genus BugGuide notes:  “most attack Lepidoptera pupae; a few parasitize Coleoptera (Chrysomelidae, Curculionidae) and Diptera (Syrphidae); some are secondary parasites of Ichneumonidae and Braconidae.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Can you name this bug?
Location: Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Google maps: 19.522574, -96.927901
August 30, 2014 5:09 pm
Hello, I found this bug. It has at least one week living at the same leaf. Here is the raining season. It does not move even when is raining. However it’s alive because when I was taking some photographs it moved a bit. Could you help me to identify this bug?
Signature: J. A. K.

Cochineal, possibly

Parasitized Slug Caterpillar

Dear J.A.K.,
This appears to be a Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, and it has fallen victim to parasitic wasps, most likely in the family Braconidae.  This image from BugGuide depicts a Slug Caterpillar infested with Braconids.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for your help. It’s a shame I can’t help this small caterpillar, c’est la vie!.
This “bug world” is amazing, I hope I can learn more.
Cheers,
J Ko.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s on the caterpillar?
Location: Southeastern Virginia
July 21, 2014 12:33 pm
A friend has a caterpillar in her garden and she found it like this today. It was fine a few days ago…What in the world is going on with it?
Signature: Crystal

Carolina Sphinx Before

Carolina Sphinx Before

Dear Crystal,
This caterpillar is a Carolina Sphinx or Tobacco Hornworm,
Manduca sexta, and they are frequently found feeding on tomato plants and related plants in the garden.  Your second image documents the results of a parasitization by a Braconid Wasp, Cotesia congregata.  The female Braconid lays her eggs inside the caterpillar using an ovipositor and the larval wasps develop inside the caterpillarfeeding on the caterpiller beneath its skin.  When the larvae mature, the make their way to the surface and spin cocoons, and that is what is shown in the second image.  The caterpillar will not live to maturity even if the cocoons are removed.  See BugGuide for additional information on the Braconid.

Carolina Sphinx parasitized by Braconids

Carolina Sphinx parasitized by Braconids

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Parasite chain!
Location: Israel
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

Cabbage White with Wasp Pupae

Cabbage White with Wasp Pupae

Hi Ben,
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.

Parasitic Wasp

Parasitic Wasp

Parasitic Wasps

Parasitic Wasps

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Chalcid wasps from katydid eggs
Location: Kirksville, Missouri
April 10, 2014 1:02 pm
I discovered your site last fall in my search to identify some katydid eggs attached to a sweet gum ball. I kept the eggs on my desk in the hopes of seeing katydids hatching, but ended up having parasitized eggs–I had about a dozen chalcid wasps emerge from the eggs. Sadly, they didn’t survive.
I used this site and bugguide to figure out that they were chalcid wasps, but I’d like to narrow down the identification if possible.
Thanks!
Signature: AC Moore

Katydid Eggs Parasitized by Chalcid Wasp

Katydid Eggs Parasitized by Chalcid Wasp

Dear AC Moore,
We actually found your answer much faster than we anticipated.  We found this posting to BugGuide of Parasitized Katydid Eggs and a comment reads:  “The holes you are seeing are actually the emergence holes of wasps that parasitize the eggs of katydids. The wasps produce these circular holes to escape the confines of the egg in which they develop. When a katydid hatches it splits the side of the egg open. I know wasps in the genus
Anastatus (Eupelmidae) and Baryconus (Scelionidae) attack katydid eggs having reared some myself.”  We then searched for images of wasps in the two mentioned genera, and this image of a Baryconus species on zsi.gov looks nothing like your wasp, however the Anastatus that is pictured on BugGuide looks very much like your wasp.  You are correct.  It is a Chalcid.

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination