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Parasite on Hickory Horned Devil

Parasite on Hickory Horned Devil
Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, West Virginia, USA
August 26, 2004
One of the highlights of my summer was finding my first Hickory Horned Devil, a huge caterpillar the size of a hot dog if not a smidge larger. I didn't see the little hitchhikers until later, as I was looking at the caterpillar photos. To give a sense of scale, the photo shows about half the width of the Hickory Horned Devil's body. Can anyone hazard an i.d. of these little beige fellows?

Moved from Tachinidae.

Moved from Regal Moth. I agree, these are tachinid eggs.

Parisites on HHD
Those I have seen before on the larger larva of most any species, there some type of Fly eggs of the Tachina Fly end up with a bunch of fly maggots instead of a moth. (May have mis-spelled the fly name )

James in Kentucky

Are they eggs or maybe pupae? They are really small.

I'm currently raising a Hickory Horned Devil and an Imperial Moth caterpillar in my backyard on a sweetgum. I wrapped a branch with hardware cloth and I check on them from time to time. I found the eggs on sweetgum leaves and brought them home. I'm taking pictures along the way and it's really exciting to see how they change. The HHD is quite large already, but I think it'll get bigger still. I didn't recognize the other one for an imperial moth caterpillar until just this weekend.

Eggs or Puape?
Troy, hope your photos will eventually make it onto this site for those two species. I'd be interested in knowing the measurement of the Hickory Horned Devil at the time he prepares to pupate.

Hope you can also get a photo of the Horned Devil pupa. I was amazed to read they pupate in the ground, at that size!

These parasites certainly didn't seem to be legged, like mites. On the other hand, they were touching the caterpillar along most of their lower surface, unlike the wasp pupae on Tomato Hornworms. I would have to guess they were either eggs or pupae, but couldn't rule out some kind of adult creature with a sluglike ventral surface.


Stephen Cresswell
Buckhannon, WV

those are exactly what my hor
those are exactly what my horndevil had on it. I have him in a large container and i'm hoping those things don't affect the growth of the moth.

any ideas?

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