Pupating larvae observed and added 2nd Nov 12. Caterpillar still alive and on heather.
No interactions present.
Surely all three would be maggot like?
They could well be, just a thought- diptera larva might be the most maggotty?
Some parasite larvae tend to be yellow, if the larvae shrink & the skin toughens without being shed then it may well be diptera
I have kept this host and its parasites but as Fox Moth larva overwinter as larva, I will either have to keep it on heather or release it again. I am hoping to be able to keep it and see what these parasitic larvae become. I wonder would the caterpillar pupate if it wasn't fed?
If you do get any Diptera then please get in touch with us at the Tachinid Recording Sceme, where we should be able to help you get an identification. Http://tachinidae.org.uk/ :)
Have you any thoughts on the larva images above? I hope to see the adult of these larvae in time from this host caterpillar. Tachina fera is very common on that moorland. Its a possibility.
Hi Cathal, I have seen this several times every year up till 2010 ,but no foxmoths seen since big freeze of Dec that year and they were plentiful up till then . I cant say T . fera is on site as I might not recognoies it ,but from photos here on many posts can say I never saw it .Some specimens had up to 7 grubs and were very lethargic , I would think ichneumon wasp of some kind (smallish given size of grub )mine spun cocoons and disappeared from caterpiller over a few days so I think must have fallen into vegitation .Look forward to your results , a little envious that I did not think to breed them on ! but would settle to have Foxmoths roaming the range here again .
Yeah John this fox larva is very lethargic, its probably had holes bored through it already and portions of itself eaten. I wonder are these grubs ready to pupate? Is that why they are on the outside at this time? I saw 3 on its exterior, how many more are still inside it? I hope it happens that I get to see the adult and get pics, that would be very good indeed.
Those 2 hard winters there, 09/10 and 10/11, I thought that 6 weeks of frozen mountain (buried in ice and snow) in the 09/10 one in particular followed by a thaw and then another hard freeze up March would kill a lot of stuff. I was up during the temporary thaw in late Feb 10. The slugs were as right as rain. Not a bother to them. Maybe in Tipperary it was more severe,more inland?
was recorded on a car 20/12/2010, lots of things not recovered yet ,hoverflies ,butterflies gone completely (Green hairstreak )or much reduced (Marsh Frit ),Hawkmoths ,etc etc water bugs did recover in deeper bogholes ok ,but vegitation sheltering inverts suffered badly .
Thats amazing, I hadnt noticed anything of the sort here but this is coastal too soo maybe that has something to do with it. I think -13 C was as bad as it got here. I actually thought that winter was brilliant and I'd love to see it again, a glimpse of the arctic. Not everyone I say that to agrees with me but standing out on the middle of lakes covered in 7" ice covered in 2 foot of snow was different. Only one population I might be missing since that- the Map-winged Swifts on the hill are noticeable by their absence.
Your Fox cat. is proably on the way out,as these particular parasites have left their host.
You'd say its had it at this stage Brock?
Yes, would probably be finished off probably by some thing eating it, fungal/bacterial infection or starving to death.
Its still sluggishly moving around, doesnt look a happy chap. The tiny larvae are spinning cocoons on it. One larva became glued to the hairs around the exit hole it was coming out of and its stuck there like a plug. Some more may come out in time. The cat has food but isnt hungry.
Cocoons would suggest to me wasp/ichneumon as a parasite.
I think you are right Brock, I think Hymenoptera are to blame for this! The cocoons are similar to other obs. on iSpot which concluded it was Hymenoptera.
Tachinid Flies never spin silk coccoons, only Hymenoptera do this.
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