Ichneumon wasp

After spotting two large green caterpillars half way up the stalks on some of my snapdragons,I thought to myself they look happy enough and didn't seem to be doing any damage to the plants.But then yesterday I saw them again and they seemed to be in the same place,as though they hadn't moved.Looking a bit closer,one appeared dead and one half of it looked deflated.It fell off when I nudged it with a twig and the other one has been in the same position for two days now.I think this is something to do with an Ichneumon wasp I saw last week,and reading up on them I'm certain the two caterpillars were parasitised,just like in 'Alien'. Its nature of course but sometimes the natural world can be a bit creepy...

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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,218

    I love ichneumon wasps. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. And so useful too. They save on all that insecticide. In fact, I suppose they are insecticides if you think about the meaning of the word.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,713

    Isn't Nature brilliant!!! image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 2,785

    Did you post about this wasp at the time? I seem to remember reading about them recently...

    So the deflated part has been eaten by the wasp grub/larvae do you think?

    Creepy like you sayimage

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,713

    Did you see them on Springwatch?

    Taking caterpillars into underground tunnels and laying an egg in them  for their offspring to feed off.  Nature's amazing!  Who needs sprays to kill bugs?  

    There's something out there to get all of them if we look after Nature.

    The exception that proves the rule is of course the Lily Beetle, but it's our fault it has no predators here - we introduced it, even if unintentionally image

    Besides, I'm a predator of Lily Beetles imageimage

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 2,785

    I haven't been watching it no- I don't watch much tv tbh... I was reading about them, but poss I was just flicking through my insect book. I had been trying to identify some bees.

    I found this dude hanging out with my caterpillars the other day and thought I was going to witness some predation

    image

     In the end it just made a jump at a passing fly and missed. Doesn't seem like a very ergonomical way of catching food...

    Ive never seen a lily beetle you know. I watered my neighbours recently and kept an eye out but didn't see one...

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,713

    How strange - caterpillars don't eat flies image odd behaviour!  

    I think those are Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 2,785

    No, the spider just above them... its not a good photo...

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,713

    Doh! image

    Victoria Sponge wrote (see)

    No, the spider just above them... its not a good photo...

     

    If I was I spider I'd be jolly pleased with that photo - quite flattering really! image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,932

    You mean hunting spiders grabbing flies like this

    image

     On the back door frame.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,232

    I do believe that's a Zebra Spider you have there fidget image

    Yes Victoria I think I did post about Ichneumon wasps.There is still one caterpillar there that has been in exactly the same position since at least Tuesday.I'm sure its dead but doesn't appear to have been eaten at all,not like the other one.

    Reading about Ichneumon wasps on wiki,there's info about how they parasitise a fellow parasite,the butterfly phengaris rebeli. Its here...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichneumonoidea

    Its really quite incredible image

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