vetandteacher's picture

What's the caterpillar (and its attachments) ?

Observed: 23rd July 2011 By: vetandteachervetandteacher’s reputation in Invertebratesvetandteacher’s reputation in Invertebratesvetandteacher’s reputation in Invertebrates
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Fox Moth (Macrothylacia rubi) interacts


vetandteacher's picture

What are the structures sticking from the body?

Are these some sort of parasite?

Mike Cook's picture


I don't know. When I blow up the image, I can't see anything that looks like feet, mouth parts or segments. They look hairy, could they be hairy seeds or maybe eggs?

The ones on the right hand side seem to be attached by a reddish-green cup structure, like the sepals of a flower. It will be interesting to see what ideas others come up with.


vetandteacher's picture


A bit of research suggests that they might be the pupae of an insect parasite.

DavidHowdon's picture


They do look like they could be pupa of one of the parasites (perhaps a brachonid). Well worth collecting such things and rearing them on if you can - they are relatively understudied.

David Howdon

Fenwickfield's picture


I would agree with David on this I posted these pupa which covered the caterpillar completely a month or so ago,and they look identical.


DavidNotton's picture


yes these looks like the cocoons of a braconid wasp.

nightfly's picture

I dont know how I missed this

I dont know how I missed this til now David, thanks for the link. Exactly what I have seen and on the same host. Here is something else which is along the same lines, once again on Fox larva but not a cocoon, a mobile larva, 3 mobile larvae on the exterior:

And the observation identical to yours Vetandteacher:

There seems to be several obsrvations of this I am beginning to realise.