Hyperparasitism of Large White Butterfly Caterpillar (Part 2)
Oct 13, 2012Public
Photo: Setting the scene. There appears to be a wasp trapped under the cocooning, and a bigger wasp that isn't. Time to go and get the macro lens!
Photo: Hang on, see the antennae top left? Another wasp is crawling out from under the caterpillar.
Photo: It's smaller than the one that is laying eggs, and after this it doesn't really do anything more, so I don't know if it has got stuck or not.
Photo: Meanwhile this girl is laying for France. I 'think' I see the Horse's Head marking in the wing venation, which means she's an Ichneumon wasp. It's really hard to see when the wings are folded over each other.
Photo: Zoom in on wing venation of the big girl who is laying.
Photo: Help!
Photo: Help me too! I didn't see this one move, but its wings have moved in the sequence of shots that I took. This shot is for wing venation for the geeky people who may understand.
Photo: Meanwhile, big girl is still laying....
Photo: Hang on, who the hell are you?!!
Photo: This looks like a fun party, can I join in? This one is different and has the same shiny wings as the one possibly trapped on the left of the caterpillar!
Photo: They don't seem to be minding each other. I must also point out for anyone reading only the captions and not my other blurb, that the poor old caterpillar was continually moving around the top half of its body, just like a cow or horse trying to get rid of an annoying fly. It made no difference!
Photo: A final shot of totally trapped wasp on right hand side. I have turned the image upside down as I believe this is the right way up of the wing, showing its venation. And now I am completely confused!