[Taxacom] Fwd: Unknown ectoparasitoid - any ideas?

Daniel Janzen djanzen at sas.upenn.edu
Thu Sep 1 06:39:21 CDT 2011

Katerina, those are tachinid fly eggs glued to 
the surface of the caterpillar by the female fly. 
If it were Costa Rica, they would be 
Austrophorocera sp.

  Dan Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs

>Date: Thu, 01 Sep 2011 11:26:25 +0200
>From: Ekaterina Shevtsova <Ekaterina.Shevtsova at cob.lu.se>
>To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>Subject: [Taxacom] Unknown ectoparasitoid - any ideas?
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>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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