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?Β  It looks like Euplectrus maybe?

Also, I am proud of what a good warbler I am. Look how tiny that caterpillar is!

thumb caterpillar

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).


  1. Katina

    April 17, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    hmm, I’ve only ever seen the white spindle eggs before…but you have a damn good eye to see that little guy.

  2. Cheryl

    May 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    What a cool looking caterpillar, I’m going out to see if I have them on my Hackberry too…

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