Currently viewing the category: "Braconids and Chalcids"

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

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

 

Subject: Fairy Fly
Location: Orlando, FL
February 7, 2014 6:24 pm
Hi Bugman,
I found this cool little Fairy Fly while going through a trap sample today at work, and I took the opportunity to take a size comparison photo with a grain of sand. I noticed that there aren’t many Fairy Fly photos up on What’s That Bug, so I thought I’d submit the little guy.
Signature: Brian

Fairy Fly

Fairy Fly

Hi Brian,
Thanks so much for sending us your photo of a Fairy Fly, the common name for a Parasitic Hymenopteran in the family Mymaridae which are classified with the Chalcid Wasps.  As you indicated, we only have a single, very old image of a Fairy Fly in our archives.
  According to BugGuide, Fairy Flies parasitize the eggs of other insects and they are:  “Fairly characteristic in habitus and do not closely resemble any other chalcidoids. The most easily observable characters are(2):
stalked, narrowly elongate hindwing
long clubbed female antennae (filiform in males)
greatly reduced venation which terminates within the first third of the wing (except in Arescon and Krokella)
no discernible stigmal or postmarginal vein
tarsi may be 4- or 5-segmented
antennal toruli widely separated
vertex surrounded by thickened bands of cuticle and separated from the face by a suture.”
While we don’t fully understand all of that, we are providing the information for our readers.

Subject: White Flank Orange Braconid Wasp
Location: Millicent South Australia
January 13, 2014 11:48 pm
Quite common in this area along dirt roads.
A friend’s daughter crash her car thinking the insect would sting her.
Signature: Ken de Low

Braconid Wasp

Braconid Wasp

Hi Ken,
We agree that this is a Braconid Wasp, but it is not the same as the White Flank Orange Braconid,
Callibracon species, that is pictured on the Brisbane Insect Website.  There are many Australian Braconids with this same general color pattern.  We are sorry to hear about your friend’s daughter’s car crash, but it wouldn’t be the first time the irrational fear of an insect in the car has caused an accident.

Subject: Parasites On Tomato Hornworm
Location: Tampa, Florida
September 22, 2013 5:17 pm
Dear What’s That Bug,
We are HUGE fans, for many years. Here is a great shot we though you’d enjoy! We sure enjoyed watching the bug show!
Signature: Bug Love, Ana & Cory

Parasitized Hornworm

Parasitized Hornworm:  Rustic Sphinx, we believe

Hi Ana & Cory,
This is definitely a parasited Hornworm, and the parasites are Braconids, however, we do not believe this is either a Tomato Hornworm or a Tobacco Hornworm.  The caudal horn does not resemble either species and the caterpillar appears to be feeding on some plant other than a member of the family Solanacea.  Compare your caterpillar to the images of a Tomato Hornworm or Five Spotted Hakmoth on Sphingidae of the Americas, and to the photos of a Tobacco Hornworm or Carolina Sphinx also on Sphingidae of the Americas.  Can you provide the name of the plant for us?  That might help assist in the species identification for your caterpillar.  Our best guess is that this might be the caterpillar of a Rustic Sphinx.  Compare the texture on the caudal horn and the head of your individual to the images posted to Sphingidae of the Americas and to BugGuide.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for responding!  I have to admit, that since I’m such a huge fan, I was on cloud nine all day from your nice response. Years ago, when I began college, I was curious about insects, and your site really inspired me to learn more. I learned so much from you. Now I’m a science teacher, and we play with bugs every chance we get, and my students are encouraged to catch them and display them (alive) in the classroom for a few days. You’ve never taught a lesson, until a giant katydid crawled on your (and your students’) arms! Cory is an environmental scientist and a lover of all “bugs” as well. He was also the photographer of this stunning shot.
After your help, we concur that it is a Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar. He/she was on a Beauty Berry, callicarpa americana, that is in my front yard. After research, the beauty berry is a rustic sphinx moth host plant. I can’t wait to share this with my students tomorrow. Unfortunately for the caterpillar (and the Braconids), it was eaten by a bird 🙁
Thanks again for your reply. We absolutely love what you do!
Ana & Cory
Tampa, FL

Hi again Ana & Cory,
Thank you for your inspirational email.

Subject: unknown parasite of Acronicta oblinita
Location: Marsh in Salamonie Reservoir, NE Indiana
September 12, 2013 7:30 am
Bugman,
On Aug. 24 you helped my mother identify the Smartweed Caterpillar / Smeared Dagger Moth (Acronicta oblinita) that I found on a Rose Milkweed (Ascelpias incarnata) in a marsh. I collected another from a willow branch and brought it home. It stopped moving completely and even starting spinning a strange web. To my wife’s horror, dozens of small yellow parasites slowly emerged from its side as it was still (apparently?) alive. They all seemed to perish in the hot sun and the ants had a feast. Photo attached.
I searched Google Scholar for some clues…
I see a 1903 reference to a ”Rhogas rileyi Cress” being parasitic, mentioning the silk I saw (p. 24 here: http://bit.ly/1atDh3W). However, I cannot find R. rileyi Cress in recent mention so I wonder if the name has been updated. I see a recent publication noting that the parasitic wasp Aleiodes rileyi Cresson often chooses A. oblinita as a host, but it did not seem to undergo the mummification described.
Signature: Adam Thada

Parasitized Smartweed Caterpillar

Parasitized Smartweed Caterpillar

Hi Adam,
We are very impressed with your research, but in our opinion, the parasites that emerged from the Smartweed Caterpillar look more like fly larvae to us, so with that in mind, we would lean more toward this being an instance of parasitization by Tachinid Fly.  We have not been able to uncover any evidence, and that is just our first impression.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck determining What Parasitized the Smartweed Caterpillar?

Parasitized Smartweed Caterpillar

Parasitized Smartweed Caterpillar

Comment courtesy of Erwin
Subject: What Parasitized the Smartweed Caterpillar???
December 13, 2013 5:45 am
Hi,
Going through some older posts I found one submitted on Sept.13, 2013 by Adam Thada. These parasites are Braconidae for sure. Braconidae (genus Apanteles and others) are well known as parasites of Acronycta caterpillars.
Here you can see as an example larvae of Braconidae coming out of a caterpillar of Pieris sp.
(Please scroll down)
Signature: Erwin Beyer

Hi Erwin,
Your comment was written as though you provided a link by indicating to “scroll down”.  We did not get the link.

Subject: here is the link
December 13, 2013 9:04 am
Dear Daniel,
here is the required link: http://www.ingana.de/html_insekten/hymenoptera/hymenoptera-hautfluegler-wespen-schlupfwespen.html
Signature: Erwin Beyer

The Braconids in the link you provided look exactly like the ones submitted to us.  Thanks Erwin.