Sunday, October 4, 2009

Attack of the Killer Wasp Babies

I've mentioned hornworms before and provided pictures, but those hornworms were healthy (until I picked them off and threw them into the sun for the birds, stomped them, hit them with a dropped rock, or placed them in a spiderweb). I haven't seen any healthy hornworms in the garden for a little while, and the picture at left provides some evidence for why that may be so.

This hornworm is dead. See the little white things hanging all over its body? Those are the parasitic wasp eggs I have mentioned. You can't tell from this picture, but these eggs were actually wriggling when I took this shot. See the brown marks all over the hornworm? Those are where other egg sacs were attached; then the wasp babies actually hatched and breakfasted upon Mr. Hornworm.

When you see a hornworm with wasp egg sacs, you are supposed to leave it, so I did. Feed on, little babies!

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