Is the caterpillar alive?
That was the question a student had this morning.
The caterpillar was wiggling a bit, but didn’t look so good. Upon closer inspection, it appeared it had burst open, and something was actually… inside of it.
Without further ado, here is what happened next:
I have yet to identify the parasitoid, it appears to be a fly maggot of some sort. I will be back with an update if we put a name on it.
Yes, it had eaten all of the caterpillar’s insides.
No, the caterpillar is no longer alive.
[UPDATE] The maggot is in the family Tachinidae.
Posted on September 16, 2014, in Diptera, General Entomology, Invertebrates, Lepidoptera. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
Oh, nature! I bet your students lived it. It is like from a horror movie 🙂
The video is simultaneously fascinating and disgusting. Wow! Who needs space aliens when this stuff is happening here on earth.