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Photo#41698
Yucca stalk grubs - Prodoxus decipiens

Yucca stalk grubs - Prodoxus decipiens
Pelham, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
January 16, 2006
Size: about 6mm body
I found several dried yucca flower stalks that showed evidence of birds pecking into them for insects. I broke them off close to the base, then broke them open to look for grubs, hoping for beetle larvae and already wondering if these were host-plant-specific beetles brought into the area with these yuccas, if they came later, or were they of a species that was already here and took a liking to yucca stalks?

I guess I was a little disappointed to find what appear to me to be hymenopteran larvae, although the same set of questions could certainly be raised about them. They appeared to be pupating -- or getting ready to pupate -- inside their little brown sacs. I associate these sacs with hymenopterans, having had some wood wasps emerge from some in my early days of collecting and rearing larvae. Also, their lime-green hue makes me think they are hymenopterans rather than beetles. I've found other colorful wasp larvae that pupated and emerged, but colorful beetle larvae are not all that common.

I saved a few stalk sections that might or might not contain more grubs. Those I extricated for photos became live food for various adult beetles. I doubted they would have survived. On trying to completely remove a grub for a photo I found that their skin is attached to their sacs.

Images of this individual: tag all
small white moth - Prodoxus decipiens small white moth - Prodoxus decipiens Yucca stalk grubs - Prodoxus decipiens Yucca stalk grubs - Prodoxus decipiens Yucca stalk grubs - Prodoxus decipiens Yucca pupa - Prodoxus decipiens Yucca cocoon - Prodoxus decipiens small white moth - Prodoxus decipiens small white moth - Prodoxus decipiens small white moth - Prodoxus decipiens small white moth - Prodoxus decipiens small white moth - Prodoxus decipiens

Jim , any thoughts for Bill Clark
at ?

Moved

Yucca Moth larvae?
Is it possible these are larvae of the Yucca Moth? Two Yucca Moths expupated in my bathroom where I had stashed the dried yucca stalks. The Yucca Moth larva feeds internally on plant tissues, so it doesn't resemble typical caterpillars. Anyway, here is the adult I think these might have become:

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