Cabbage Patch Ecology – Parasitoids

I have been waiting and waiting for caterpillar eggs to hatch. Some of them have and I found tiny neonate larvae nibbling on leaves.  However, as I was watching the eggs some giant caterpillars were feeding down in the growing whorl where I wasn’t looking.  Protected from birds, other predators and my not-so-nimble fingers these guys may have killed the meristem of a couple plants.

More exciting though is the addition of predators and parasitoids to our patch.  Parasitoid wasps inject their eggs into other insects. The parasitoid larvae develops inside the host and emerges as an adult after consuming the host innards.  In this picture is a mummified aphid that has been parasitized by a wasp probably in the

Aphid mummy

genus Aphidius.  Awesome.

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