Monday, August 16, 2010

Backyard Bugs . . . Parasitized Tobacco Hornworm

Dr. J and Dudeboy found a parasitized tobacco hornworm (easily confused with the tomato hornworm. You have to count the lateral markings) on their tomato plant. The parasitic wasp cocoons are from the braconid wasp. Apparently there are 50,000 and 150,000 species of the braconid wasp. The white egg-looking things are actually the cocoons of the wasps. The eggs were laid inside the caterpillar where the larvae fed until they emerged to make their cocoons.

Follow this link to see a video of the wasps emerging from their cocoons.


Adonis said...

Cool! Are you all going to follow this? More pictures later would be fascinating.

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

We plan to follow it up. It would be cool to see the little buggers emerge.

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

Update . . . foiled! Our parasitized tobacco hornworm is gone. Two possible culprits: the massive rainstorm this morning, or a bird (there is a small tell-tale feather attached to the plant).