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Eggs on goldenrod. More goldenrod fauna. - Phymata

Eggs on goldenrod. More goldenrod fauna. - Phymata
Pennypack Restoration Trust, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA
July 7, 2009
Size: 5 mm.
I found this batch of eggs on the underside of a goldenrod leaf. Could they be Cassidinae? Could they be the goldenrod leaf miner beetle? I have seen some adults of this species nearby.

Update (February 16, 2010): These eggs were sent to Dr. David Punzalan for rearing. They hatched shortly after (November, 2009), but instead of baby Phymata only parasitic wasps emerged. The specimens were sent to Dr. L. Masner who determined them to be a Platigastrid (formerly family Scelionidae), probably Telenomus phymatae. He has been the first one to describe this species: Masner, L. and Johnson, N.F. 1979. A new species of Telenomus (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae), an egg parasite of the ambush bug, Phymata sp. (Heteroptera: Phymatidae). The Canadian Entomologist 111: 1115–1119.

Higher resolution image

Moved from Jagged Ambush Bugs.

on the wasps
Hi Beatriz,

This is amazing. This is probably the first photo taken of phymatine eggs. Have seen more recently?

Just a quick question. Do you know how many wasps came out of the eggs? Thanks.


Parasitic wasps
This was the first photo of Phymata eggs in the wild and, as far as I know, the only one. There was a photo of eggs raised in Punzalan's lab; it used to be available in the Internet, but I can't find that photo anymore.
Unfortunately, I never found out much about the parasitic wasps. As I mentioned in the update, I sent the eggs to Dr. Punzalan, who in turn, sent the wasps to a specialist. Later on, I asked for photos of the wasps, but so far got none. It would be so nice to add them to Bugguide!
I have been looking for eggs and telling others to look for them, but so far, without success.

Neither of those...
I believe these are assassin bug eggs--maybe something like Zelus; I haven't seen what that resinous secretion looks like when it weathers, but this seems within reason. Ambush bug might be a possibility (which would still be an assassin bug)... their eggs are surrounded in a froth when they are laid, which may well look like this when it dries. The only photo I've seen was of a freshly laid mass in a laboratory setting.

That makes sense. All bug eggs seem to have those lids.

Ambush bug eggs
I found the page where I'd seen ambush eggs--you can get to it by clicking this image:

After reminding myself what other assassin bug eggs look like, I'm convinced these are ambush bug eggs--which makes more sense, since I suspect the resinous coating on Zelus eggs doesn't look like this when it breaks down. Congratulations! The author of that page, who studies ambush bugs, has never found their eggs in nature. You might contact him to share your find, since he states on that page that he doesn't know where they're laying them. (Email address on bottom of page.)

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