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Photo#338944
caterpillar

caterpillar
Pinellas County, Florida, USA
September 29, 2009
Size: .5 inch-ish
I put this guy in a small cup along with some oak leaves last night to let him pupate so I could photograph him as an adult and...... WOW!!! Something parasitized him!!! The cup was covered with aluminium foil with TINY (and I mean tiny. 1mm wide by 3 to 4mm long) knife slits in it.....so.... what could have possibly gotten in with him to lay eggs - THEN pulled a houdini and got back out!!?? I guess another option is that these parasites were already inside the cat and have emerged to pupate???? Do parasites do that??? I guess now that I've typed this out that seems to be the logical scenario. The cat does seem slimmer now that I look again. Is that right?? Something like an ichneumen? (sp?)
Another day of learning something new.
Thanks for your help.

Images of this individual: tag all
caterpillar - Euclea caterpillar caterpillar

Moved
Moved from Cocoons and larvae.

Parasites
You can learn more about parasitic wasps in the links provided in Cotesia.
It may be possible to get an ID for the parasites, knowing the host caterpillar.

Moved
Moved from Euclea.

it was already "inhabited"
The eggs are laid and the little wasps feed for days or weeks before they make coccoons and pupate outside the caterpillar. So this caterpillar was doomed before you brought it inside - a depressing thought perhaps, but at least there are no Houdini braconids sneaking in and out of your house!

 
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Thanks Abigail! Not depressing to me.... I love'em all.... wasps too!
I'll try to photograph whomever emerges.

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