[Taxacom] Unknown ectoparasitoid - any ideas?

Ekaterina Shevtsova Ekaterina.Shevtsova at cob.lu.se
Thu Sep 1 04:26:25 CDT 2011

Dear colleagues,
Need some expertise for my friend who sent this email below. Thanks a lot!

I am puzzled by some white things I found on a couple of larvae of 
/Lithacodes fasciola/.  (At first I thought they were /Euplectrus/, but 
they aren't unless there is a species totally different than the 
/Euplectrus/ I found earlier.  Perhaps another type of ectoparasitoid?)

I wondered if you've run across anything like this.  I find them here in 
the wild often.  The day I found this one I also found two others.

1.One larva has one white 'thing' on/in it.  One end of the white thing 
curls downward into the caterpillar. I haven't been able to take a good 
clear photo of it because it is so small.  In this image you can see how 
the end of it to the right is curved downward into the moth larva. 

2.The second larva is healthy, as far as I can tell.

3.The third larva had three white things. 

·Side note: It was also parasitized by a large wasp.  The night after I 
found it, it molted and all that was left was the wasp larva inside a 
membrane.  It made a cocoon inside the membrane.  It was fascinating -- 
I filmed it best that I could.

I am more interested in the white things.  They are hard like a shell. I 
picked at them with a dental tool to move them but they didn't budge 
without moving the moth larvae.  I didn't try to remove any of them 
after I realized how tightly they were stuck to/in the larvae.  The 
larva with one white thing is clearly damaged at the point where it has 
pierced the skin.

Do you have any idea what they are?  Where should I begin looking?



Ekaterina Shevtsova

Lund  University, Department of Biology

Sölvegatan 35

SE-22362 Lund, Sweden

Ekaterina.Shevtsova at cob.lu.se <mailto:Ekaterina.Shevtsova at cob.lu.se>

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