Parasitic Wasp Cocoon

January 24th, 2012 - 9:48 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 3 Comments

6mm long | July 8, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

These attractively patterned little cocoons seem to be a common sight no matter where I travel. Each one holds the pupa of a parasitic wasp. I’ll often find what’s left of a caterpillar host nearby. The ones I notice are usually suspended by a thread, as here. That’s not always the case though.

3 Responses to “Parasitic Wasp Cocoon”

  1. Nice–Campopleginae for sure. I’ve collected several of these, but so far have only had one wasp emerge, and it was an ichneumonid from another subfamily that had parasitized the campoplegine.

    • Troy Bartlett says:

      Last fall, on a walk just before dusk, I spotted a larva that had just emerged from its caterpillar host. It was beginning to spin a cocoon. The next day I returned and saw that it was one of these patterned cocoons. I didn’t have my camera with me, but I would have loved to have documented a few steps in that whole process.

  2. […] say the white splotches that are common on these cocoons are meant to mimic bird droppings). Some dangle from threads, and some are able to jump around like Mexican jumping beans. The type I most commonly see is […]

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