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Parasitized Exyra larva? - Isodontia

Parasitized Exyra larva? - Isodontia
Near Jones Gap--Caesar's Head., Greenville County, South Carolina, USA
July 19, 2007
Size: Approx. 2cm for the larva
I am studying a federally endangered pitcher plant (Sarracenia jonesii). I frequently find larvae of the moth Exyra semicrocea feeding on the insides of these pitchers. In a number of the pitchers, I found a single cocoon, but the pitcher was plugged with dead leaves. In the image included, the cocoon is visible as a tan, elongated structure in the left (lower) part of the pitcher. I am wondering if this is a case where the larvae had been parasitized by a wasp? I understand that Isodontia philadelphicus sometimes does this?

Images of this individual: tag all
Parasitized Exyra larva? - Isodontia Parasitized Exyra larva? - Isodontia

don't think the wasp parasitized the caterpillar, but rather utilized the pitcher (I'm guessing was dead or empty) for a larval cell.

Probably Isodontia
Judging by the nest cell material (apparently grass or some other type of shredded vegetable material) this is an Isodontia nest. The larva look mature or almost mature. Apparently there are a few species of Isodontia that do this (e.g. I. mexicana, in addition to I. philadelphicus), so it doesn't seem that unusual. However, since I'm not an expert on sphecids you may want to wait for confirmation from one of the other wasp experts. Any caterpillar wouldn't be the prey of Isodontia since they prey on long-horned grasshoppers.

Isodontia wasp
Hey folks

I'll admit right off I'm not an invert scientist, so I hope you don't mind my silly questions. Is the diagnosis that this is a wasp, consistent with the fact that the large larva in the second photograph was inside a cocoon? Also, is it consistent with the appearance of granular brown frass visible in the nest material, to the right?

Almost all (exceptions?) wasps spin cocoons of some sort. With these solitary types they have to spin their own oval cocoon. I think with things like paper wasps the sides of the cells may serve as the sides of the cocoon and it just caps off the cell (although I could be wrong about that). At the very least I know that Pompilids spin cocoons similar to the one shown in this photo.

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