I was in the yard after work today looking at all the holes in the hackberry leaves. It reminded me of all the caterpillar frass I had seen on a walk this week under a hackberry, and I decided that if there are really that many caterpillars in the tree, I should be able to find one. I pretended to be a warbler and looked along the little twigs. It took a minute, but I found one. I was going to leave it alone (I’m not going that far with the pretending), but I noticed it had a green blob on it. I looked closer, and discovered a cluster of eggs on the caterpillar.
I’ve seen the big hawkmoth caterpillars full of white parasitoid eggs before, but I have never seen these. Any ideas for ID? It looks like Euplectrus maybe?
Also, I am proud of what a good warbler I am. Look how tiny that caterpillar is!
I have the caterpillar in a jar with some hackberry leaves. I’ll check his progress tomorrow (or, rather, the eggs’ progress. The caterpillar is probably doomed, poor guy).