Thursday, September 07, 2006

A parasite makes it's appearance

A couple of nights ago, I collected some more anise weeds to feed Mrs. W's caterpillars. While I was at it, I "accidentally" collected a few more tiny caterpillars. I decided to keep them, since we will be having 2 bug-themed events at the arboretum later this month, and they will be a welcome addition to the display table for the children to see.

One of the caterpillars was bigger than the others, but still tiny. Yesterday, I noticed it looked bigger. Fatter. It didn't appear to be eating, and I thought it might be getting ready to shed its skin. First thing this morning when I checked on it, I thought I had actually caught it in the act of moulting, and got my camera. On closer inspection, I was bummed to see that a parasitic wasp larva had just emerged from the caterpillar's body, and was putting the finishing touches on its cocoon.

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