Seemingly oblivious to its own potential demise, an ornamental moth caterpillar (Rhuda sp.) carries on about its daily business while a tiny parasitoid Chalcidid wasp (Conura sp.) rides piggyback. These wasps are among a multitude of related species which utilize caterpillars (and their pupae) as living hosts for their brood. After depositing its eggs, the wasp’s larvae develop within the caterpillar’s body, carefully consuming its non-vital organs until they are ready to emerge. In this way, the caterpillar will be kept alive just long enough to insure the wasp larvae are able to complete their life cycle. Soberanía National Park, Panama.
- © Chien C. Lee
- Image Size
- 6337x4225 / 9.1MB
Apocrita, Central America, Chalcididae, Chalcidinae, Chalcidini, Chalcidoidea, Heterocampinae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Lepidoptera, Noctuoidea, Notodontidae, Panama, Proctotrupomorpha, animal, arthropod, chalcidid wasp, chalcidoid wasp, fauna, in-situ, insect, invertebrate, moth, parasitoid, prominent moth, wasp
- Contained in galleries
- Parasites & Parasitoids, New Images, Central & South America, Insects, Reptiles