Wednesday, September 28, 2011

an odd little garden visitor



The other day we were picking the last few tomatoes off of our vines and I saw this little fellow (or gal?) clinging to one of the branches. So, I reached towards him to get a better look.




Isn't he wild? I wasn't sure if alive or not at first, to tell you the truth, but then he began to wiggle a bit. I'm not much of a botanist nor an entomologist, but after doing a little research on Google, I learned that the caterpillar was covered with eggs, but not its own.




The eggs are actually those of the Braconid Wasp, and that this poor caterpillar has been parasitized. While not good for the caterpillar, it's good for our garden, since the Braconid Wasps will keep lots of other bad bugs at bay.




Kind of creepy, but a lot better than pesticides!

7 comments:

Leslie said...

gross...we had a caterpillar not that long ago with the same eggs on it. my neighbor says those tomato caterpillars are bad for your tomatos

Jean said...

biodiversity at work... some bugs just gross me out. I haven't seen any wooly worms... do we get those up here?

Cheryl Arkison said...

I would not have been happy if I saw that! Then fascinated.

We found a handful of birdnests in our soffits the other day. One had 4 abandoned eggs. What do my kids do? Crack one to see what's inside. Unfertilized egg.

Sweet Baby Jamie said...

Creepy but fascinating!

Heide said...

Wow, that is wild!

Heather Jones said...

So creepy, but nature's own pesticide, I guess! :)

Cheryl, that sounds like something my kids would do, too. They love exploring outside!

Emma Thomsen said...

Why do I find that kind of sad, it makes me think of the 'Hungry Caterpillar', which my son is asking me to read each night at the moment. Dark cloud silver linings, I guess it's Mother Nature doing her work... circle of life and all that!

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