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parasitized caterpillar - Cucullia intermedia

parasitized caterpillar - Cucullia intermedia
Middlebury, Addison County, Vermont, USA
July 22, 2009
I couldn't find a match for the caterpillar, and I guess the parasite are Braconid wasps.

Worth mentioning here
Parasitic wasp that emerged from the cocoon

From what I have seen most of these wasps that parasitize caterpillars are found in groups and not alone as this one. Interesting.

Maybe there were others
But after I saw this one wasp and photographed it, I released the caterpillar since it was still alive.

Moved from Butterflies and Moths.
Thanks John & Jane. Everything looks right, except for the head pattern, which might just mean this was a third instar instead of the penultimate that looks like this, with a black head. Wagner says the mature caterpillars run from August through October.

One thought is Cucullia intermedia
See but we don't know if they have those colors on the head in any stage.

Ignore the color
I've seen lots of cases where a dying parasitized caterpillar turns an unnatural red or brown color. The brown part could have once been a much lighter color- or even green.

Still no match
I went through all the pictures in Wagner, and didn't see any cats with this stripe pattern.

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