User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

rainbowgardener wrote:I found one more hornworm on a tomato plant, but it was in the same condition, with the white pupae all over. So far the braconid wasps are 100% effective! And on the first one I saw, the white things have gone from being little ovals to being little tubes open on the outer end, so I take it a whole new generation of little wasps has hatched out to terrorize the hornworms (AND aphids and other bad guys!). Gotta love it!
Gotta love it RBG. It's about time I got some "people" on my side too. I keep finding new bad critters every time I go out it seems. :(

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

C00KiE46 wrote:Ewww I don't know what I would do if I would see one of those in my garden. Do we get those in southern CA? :?
I found one on a tomato plant at my house in (?) October 2008, so they're definitely present west of the Rockies. Many garden pests (well, the Squash Vine Borer, at least) are *not* found west of the Rockies, but these yucky things definitely are.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

C00KiE46
Senior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: Southern California

I found one on a tomato plant at my house in (?) October 2008, so they're definitely present west of the Rockies. Many garden pests (well, the Squash Vine Borer, at least) are *not* found west of the Rockies, but these yucky things definitely are.

Aaaggghh hopefully I won't come across one those things. Those are HUGE.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27648
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Well, if you do, don't panic, remember this thread, and DON'T kill it if it has braconid wasp pupae on its back. :wink:

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

garden5 wrote:
rainbowgardener wrote:I found one more hornworm on a tomato plant, but it was in the same condition, with the white pupae all over. So far the braconid wasps are 100% effective! And on the first one I saw, the white things have gone from being little ovals to being little tubes open on the outer end, so I take it a whole new generation of little wasps has hatched out to terrorize the hornworms (AND aphids and other bad guys!). Gotta love it!
RG, did you release these wasps or were they naturally in the area.
They are naturally present; I did NOT release any. I have never even laid eyes on one since they are 1/10 th to 1/4 inch long. But they are my new best friends! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

731greener101
Cool Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:36 pm
Location: West Tennessee Zone 6b

I showed the girlfriend two hornworms with wasp eggs this morning and I quote"that is sooo coool".I think I will keep this one.Greener

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

rainbowgardener wrote:
garden5 wrote:
rainbowgardener wrote:I found one more hornworm on a tomato plant, but it was in the same condition, with the white pupae all over. So far the braconid wasps are 100% effective! And on the first one I saw, the white things have gone from being little ovals to being little tubes open on the outer end, so I take it a whole new generation of little wasps has hatched out to terrorize the hornworms (AND aphids and other bad guys!). Gotta love it!
RG, did you release these wasps or were they naturally in the area.
They are naturally present; I did NOT release any. I have never even laid eyes on one since they are 1/10 th to 1/4 inch long. But they are my new best friends! :)

For all those who've never seen these tiny hornworm hunters, here you go: [img]https://static.arstechnica.com/2009/02/12/larvaewasp.jpg[/img]
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27648
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Cool photo garden5. :o

Here's a twist. That hornworm we were going to watch turn into a moth?
DD8 just brought me the container and said "My hornworm is gone -- it's been infected by those wasps."

I peered in and sure enough there are about 20 wasp larvae emerging from the caterpillar... Just like those photos I posted last year. We discussed our options, and I explained that my primary concern is not allowing the wasps to eventually emerge inside the house as they would then go after the Monarch caterpillars.

It was kind of amusing that when I suggested taking the infected hornworm to a playdate tomorrow to show our friends, DD8 gave me an incredulous look and asked if I thought their friends (two boys, BTW) would be interested in seeing the hornworm being eaten by the wasps. :wink:

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Well, be sure to let us know what happens; don't leave us hanging. :D

I haven't found anything yet that grosses out 8-y.o. boys. :lol: My two nephews passed through that age completely unfazed by anything. Later, of course, maybe around 13 or 14, each of them went through a "Yuck" phase, but not at 8. Youngest nephew is only 2; kind of young yet.

Cynthia

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

applestar wrote:Cool photo garden5. :o

Here's a twist. That hornworm we were going to watch turn into a moth?
DD8 just brought me the container and said "My hornworm is gone -- it's been infected by those wasps."

I peered in and sure enough there are about 20 wasp larvae emerging from the caterpillar... Just like those photos I posted last year. We discussed our options, and I explained that my primary concern is not allowing the wasps to eventually emerge inside the house as they would then go after the Monarch caterpillars.

It was kind of amusing that when I suggested taking the infected hornworm to a playdate tomorrow to show our friends, DD8 gave me an incredulous look and asked if I thought their friends (two boys, BTW) would be interested in seeing the hornworm being eaten by the wasps. :wink:
So....hornworms don't like caterpillars? It would appear so if they infected your hornworm aside from your caterpillars.

Perhaps they don't like the fur :?.

Oh, and do let us know what happens with the show and tell :wink:.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27648
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I have heard that braconid wasps DO parasitize monarch caterpilars, but generally speaking, I only see Tachnid fly parasitized monarchs when we collect them as 4th or 5th instars. That's why, as a rule, we only collect eggs or 1st instar caterpillars because Tachnid flies generally oviposit on older caterpillars.

When on rare occasions we do end up bringing in older caterpillars because otherwise, they may be eaten by other predators like larger wasps, spiders, etc., we place them in isolation rather than group cages.

My concern is that in absence of their preferred tobacco hornworm/sphinx moth caterpillars, etc. any braconid wasps that have free access to the monarch caterpillars will use them as hosts, when we are raising them indoors to avoid predation in the first place.

Another parasitic/beneficial insect that I have to be on the lookout for are aphid mummy maker-type wasps -- I can't remember at the moment but I think they're also braconids that oviposit inside the eggs. The infected eggs like aphid mummies -- dried up tan in color. Those have to be discarded so the tiny wasps don't emerge and use the other eggs in the hatchery.

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”