Brown tussock moth pupa parasitised by wasps

on 4th May 2016

TussockMoth cocoon-wasp emerge

An earlier post showed numerous white maggots emerging from a brown tussock moth caterpillar. The maggots then spun white silk to cover themselves. Within five days small parasitic wasps emerged from the common cocoon. The above image shows a tussock moth that just moulted to the final instar.

TussockMoth cocoon-wasp cocoon

In the current case, many white maggots emerged from a dead pupa of another brown tussock moth. The maggots remained around the pupa but within the protective covering of the moth cocoon. They then spun white silk to cover themselves (above).

About eight days later the first wasp emerged from the cocoon, followed by another a few hours later (below).

TussockMoth cocoon-wasp emerge

During a period of three days less than five wasps emerged from the dead pupa, to dig their way out, first from the silky common cocoon, then the the moth cocoon. Most of the other wasp maggots failed to complete their life cycles.

YC Wee
22nd April 2016

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

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