A parasitic wasp eating its way out of the pupa of the Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete metarete) was documented by Janice Ang at the Seletar Country Club Butterfly Garden (above).
The images, from top to bottom, similarly give the stages of the wasp forcing its way out of the dead pupa.
According to Dr Leong Tzi Ming, this is a Chalcidid Wasp belonging to the family Chalcididae. The wasp is black with yellowish markings and stout hind legs. It parasitises mostly caterpillars of butterflies and moths, as well as those of flies and beetles.
The wasp lays its eggs inside the body of the caterpillar, in this case the Painted Jezebel. Here, only one egg develops to become a larva.
The wasp larva then feeds on the flesh of the host and at the right time forms a pupa. When the wasp emerges from its pupa it forces its way out of the body of the host, by which time the host is already dead.
Janice Ang & Foo Jit Leang, with Dr Leong Tzi Ming
Seletar Country Club Butterfly Garden
19th March 2016
(Dr Leong Tzi Ming helped in the ID of the wasp)