Spiny Oak Caterpillar Wasp Lepidoptera Parasitoid

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Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar is Parasitized by a Parsitoid

A Spiny Oak caterpillar was found under an oak leaf. At first the caterpillar was not recognized because of its lack of color. A close look revealed that it was parasitized and caterpillar blood and guts were totally missing. (We assume it is a Spiny Oak Euclea delphinii caterpillar.)


wasp larvae worms caterpillar parasitoid spiny oak slug Euclea delphinii
Caterpillar as found
wasp larvae worms caterpillar parasitoid spiny oak slug Euclea delphinii
Caterpillar as found
wasp larvae worms caterpillar parasitoid spiny oak slug Euclea delphinii
White pupae inside - same day
wasp larvae worms caterpillar parasitoid spiny oak slug Euclea delphinii
Pupae turned light brown

A series of photographs follow the maturing of these wasps. They resemble Eulophid was pupae. The Eulophid wasps we found earlier turned into black pupae. These pupae were white when found (assumedly freshly pupated) and turned brown the next day. Most of the bottom of the caterpillar stuck to the leaf when we took it off the leaf, opening up the veiw for the camera. This page will be updated when the adult wasps emerge (any day) and are identified.


wasp larvae worms caterpillar parasitoid spiny oak slug Euclea delphinii
Then dark brown
wasp larvae worms caterpillar parasitoid spiny oak slug Euclea delphinii
Close view
wasp larvae worms caterpillar parasitoid spiny oak slug Euclea delphinii
Closer view
caterpillar larva spiny oak slug Euclea delphinii
Normal Spiny Oak Slug

Caterpillars can be protected from wasps and other parasitoids by raising them inside a secure sleeve or container. The mesh should be extremely tight for minature parasitoid wasp prevention. Sheer curtain material can be purchased from a fabric store and used to provide airflow without providing enough room for parasitoids to enter. Sleeves can be made with sheer curtain material. If a caterpillar is brought in from the wild, it may already be parasitized. Secure containers can be made with shoe boxes or other box or container. Make sure you provide some airflow! If you do not wish to make a rearing container, they can be purchased from Shady Oak Butterfly Farm from this webpage.