Being Eaten From the Inside Out

caterpillarIn the garden last night we found another tomato hornworm which had left a trail of destruction as it ate through much of one of our plants. This time it wasn’t doing so well as wasp eggs had obviously hatched and was eating it from the inside out. Braconid wasps lay their eggs inside the caterpillar. As they hatch they eat their way out, killing the caterpillar in the process.

LD has been stung by wasps and bees many times in his life. So many times he has asked why there are wasps in the world. Now finally we have a hands-on reason why wasps aren’t so bad after all!

Tomato Hornworm with Wasp Eggs Saved by the wasp – garden tomatoes!tomatoes

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3 Responses

  1. Loralee says:

    What a crazy cycle of predators! We recently had a similar learning experience as I found that the banana I’d been saving way too long (I kept thinking I’d make banana bread) was hosting the full life cycle of fruit flies, from larvae onwards. We showed the children all the insect stages, then immediately threw it away!

    • Liesl Den says:

      That happens in our compost bin every now and then, when we didn’t take it out promptly enough. Ugh! Then I have to make those home-made fruit fly catchers to make sure they’re all gone. It’s one thing out in your garden, but it’s sure not great when it happens inside!

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