Friday, 27 December 2013

Hyposoter placidus (Desvignes).

Hyposoter placidus is one of the two common parasitoids hosted by the Small Copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas). This male emerged from a caterpillar found in early May on Baildon Bank, VC64.
The caterpillar, which had been feeding on potted Sheep's sorrel, sought out a sheltered place underneath the pot where it became mummified before it could pupate.
The adult Ichneumon emerged on 9th June 2013.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Cotesia cuprea (Lyle)

A larva of Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) that I found feeding on Sheep's sorrel (Rumex acetosella) on Baildon Bank (VC64) has been the victim of a parasitoid attack.
I can count seven woolly braconid cocoons underneath the larva and I suspect that these will belong to Cotesia cuprea (Lyle).
It is gregarious, killing the host as a final instar larva, and sometimes reasonably common from the host (though the Hyposoter that mummifies the larva is often commoner). A brood in single figures would be quite unusual and they can sometimes number twenty or more.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Aleiodes sp. near borealis

An adult Aleiodes has emerged through a subapical exit hole, chewed through the skin, towards the caudal end of its mummified host.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Caterpillar mummified by Aleiodes sp. near borealis

On 1st February 2013 I found this mummified noctuid caterpillar attached to a gorse flower on Baildon Moor, VC64.
 This is likely to have played host to the parasitoid currently named Aleiodes borealis, which has a rather broad host range of moth larvae in the overwintering generation, especially Xestia and Noctua species.
The RES handbook "CLASSIFICATION AND BIOLOGY OF BRACONID WASPS" (Shaw & Huddlestone) states that "In most cases the host is killed when only partly grown and the mummy is stuck to the foodplant (or often another substrate, following a well characterised behavioural change by the stricken host) by mean of a gluey fluid through an antero-ventral slit cut in the host integument by the fully grown parasitoid larva".

Friday, 12 October 2012

Cotesia melanoscela

Cotesia melanoscela from White Satin Moth (Leucoma salicis) in Queen's Gardens, Hull, VC61.

Dolichogenidea breviventris


Dolichogenidea breviventris (Ratzeburg) (= Apantales mesoxanthus (Ruschka)) is a known parasitoid of Coleophora serratella and I found three examples in July and August 2012 emerging from serratella cases found on birch in Baildon and Esholt, West Yorkshire, VC64.
The middle photograph shows the female.

Cotesia pilicornis

This male Cotesia pilicornis emerged from its cocoon on 3rd September 2012. It had parasitised a larva of the Beautiful Plume moth, Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, found on Hedge Woundwort near Otley, West Yorkshire, VC64.