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Photo#309675
Caterpillar with a problem - Eulophus

Caterpillar with a problem - Eulophus
Elkton, Douglas County, Oregon, USA
July 24, 2009
Size: approx 23mm
I think this caterpillar is having a bad day, with worse days to come.

Any chance of an ID on the caterpillar and the parasites . . . assuming they're parasites.

Host plant is Plum tree.

Additional comments on subsequent photos - as the larva mature, etc.

Images of this individual: tag all
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Today I let them all go.
August 5. 2009

It appears the entire brood has hatched. I counted 26 pupa and 21 wasps, though my count of wasps is not certain; they were moving around quite a bit, and I didn't count any that might have been behind the leaves, and some were doubled up (mating).

We (the wasps and I) held a releasing ceremony - they prepared for flight, and I took a few memento shots. Several wasps took off rather quickly. Starting with picture 13, below, are those that lingered.

Picture 13: Two days ago I remarked my surprise at seeing a feathered antenna on a wasp. Today I was again surprised to see not all of these wasps have feathered antenna. Looking at the wasp(s) in the upper right corner (actually two wasps, mating), it appears that males have feathered antenna, and females have regular looking antenna. It also appears that females have a cloudy white area on the dorsal abdomen, just below the thorax. The thorax also seems greener today. Yesterday, the freshly emerged looked dark plum. Females, for the usual reasons, also appear a bit larger than males.

Picture 14: A closeup of the mating pair. Their size difference is fairly noticeable.

Picture 15: A closeup of what I believe to be a female.

Picture 16: Female, again - ready to take off. If you catch the light just right, they display an interesting refraction, similar to some cuckoo wasps and virescent green bees.

Picture 17: A male on the back of my finger - compare him to the size of the hair.

Picture 18: A male, the last wasp to leave (the same one that was on my finger).

And now that it's all over, I have to say it was most interesting raising these little fellows. I have a feeling I'll be hijacking a lot more larva (and eggs) in the future.

:-P)

Moved
Moved from parasitic Apocrita.

Moved
Moved from Cocoons and larvae.

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

i'd say
this is a Schizura cat. I dont know what it's problem is, though.

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