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Photo#572346
caterpillar - September 4 - Doomed:( - Actias luna

caterpillar - September 4 - Doomed:( - Actias luna
Cross Plains, Dane County, Wisconsin, USA
September 4, 2011
I'm wondering if a wasp (or wasps) had already parasitized this caterpillar before I collected it or if a wasp was on some leaves that I put in the container for the caterpillar. The caterpillar was in the container for two weeks. In addition to the larva on this side of the caterpillar there is also a dark blotch on the other side.

Images of this individual: tag all
caterpillar - Actias luna caterpillar - Actias luna caterpillar - August 30 - Actias luna caterpillar - September 1 - Actias luna caterpillar - September 2 - Actias luna caterpillar - September 3 - Actias luna caterpillar - September 4 - Doomed:( - Actias luna wasp wasp

Is it permitted/advisable . . .
to remove the parasitoid?

 
Biocontrols
Parasitoids are an important part of ecosystems and the web of life. Without them some caterpillars would proliferate and eat everything in sight. Yes, I know! You don't want a luna moth, especially your luna moth, to die. I understand that very well; I hate it when crab spiders, ambush bugs, cuckoo bees or parasitoids get to my beloved pollinators. But, that is life. Sigh!

 
I don't think it would help e
I don't think it would help even if I removed this single parasitoid since the caterpillar is showing signs on its other side of even more parasites to come.

 
Just as I thought, today ther
Just as I thought, today there were quite a few more larva emerging from the caterpillar. Some have already formed cocoons. My guess is that these are Cotesia larva. I'll see what eventually emerges from the cocoons.

 
it came out of
the cat...sooo..it sorta removed itself. i have tried to remove or crush fly eggs on cats ive found with some sucess..but it is very tedious. i wonder if one or 2 wasps this small would kill this big cat or if this is just the start of many waspstocome..it dont look good, for sure.

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