Monday, August 31, 2009

Time For Another Insect Closeup

Look what I found on the tomato plants this evening! A tomato hornworm, parasitized by the cocoons of brachinid wasps. I've read about these, but this is the first time I've seen one in real life. He's a goner now; a luckier hornworm would have eaten all the tomatoes and tomato leaves he could hold, then metamorphosed into a sphinx moth. You can see from these photos that the tops of the little white cocoons are mostly all open, so I guess the wasps have emerged already, and all the excitement's over.

1 comment:

Clytie said...

What an amazing shot! I have had my fair share of run-ins with tomato hornworms, but have never seen one covered with wasp larvae before! In fact, I had never heard of this before! At first I thought it was a flower until I enlarged the photo. Wow.