Cecropia Moth Caterpillar parasitized by possibly Brachonid Wasps

Hi– just found your gorgeous site. You can bet I’ll be a frequent visitor! We found this fine, fat, fellow at the far eastern point of the country this weekend, in Pembroke, Maine. I was just admiring this photo, when I noticed the little white blobs on the caterpillar’s skin. Are these wasp larvae? Will he die before he can turn into a moth? Also — I guess he’s a cecropia moth.
Meg in Maine

Hi Meg,
This is a Cecropia Moth, and it does appear as though it is parasitized, probably by a Brachonid Wasp species. If that is the case, sadly, the caterpillar will die before reaching adulthood. The wasp pupa are smaller than we are used to seeing on Sphingidae Caterpillars, so it might be another species.

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