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Family Epipyropidae - Planthopper Parasites

parasited hopper - Fulgoraecia exigua Fulgoraecia exigua (Planthopper Parasite Moth - Hodges#4701) on Flatormenis proxima (Northern Flatid Planthopper) - Fulgoraecia exigua Planthopper w/what? - Fulgoraecia exigua Tiny caterpillar in Fulgoraecia exigua Tiny Brown Moth - Fulgoraecia exigua - male not sure what I'm looking at - Fulgoraecia exigua - female Mini white powdery caterpillar? - Fulgoraecia exigua
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Zygaenoidea (Flannel, Slug Caterpillar, Leaf Skeletonizer Moths and kin)
Family Epipyropidae (Planthopper Parasites)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
EPIPYROPIDAE Dyar, 1903 (1)
Numbers
Only one species in this family (Fulgoraecia exigua) is present in our region (2).
There are 32 species worldwide, most of them in the Indian subregion and Australia
Size
Wingspan 4-15 mm
Identification
Short and bipectinate antennae in both sexes.
Larva, first instar slender, with a large head and it tapers posteriorly, very different from later instars. Later instars, very small head that can be retracted into the prothorax.
Range
Eastern US
Food
Larvae are parasitoids of Fulgoroid planthoppers.
Larvae also parasitize leafhoppers and cicadas.(3)
Life Cycle
The female scatters her several thousand eggs in planthopper habitat. The very active larvae either wait for a host to pass by or they track them down. Once attached they become sessile.(3)
Each caterpillar latches on to the side or back of the host with silk lines, sharp claws, and sharp jaws. The caterpillar hangs on for 4-6 weeks, sucking on the blood oozing from the punctures in the host cuticle. Once mature, it releases the host and spins a cocoon on the closest branch.(3)
Remarks
They are the only caterpillar parasitoids of other insects.(3)
Internet References