Story: Wasps and bees

Larva parasite (2nd of 4)

Larva parasite

Some wasps are parasites of caterpillars and other larvae. This tiny Apanteles ruficrus wasp is injecting its eggs from its ovipositor into the body of an armyworm caterpillar – a serious crop pest. Each injection delivers about 30 eggs. The hatched larvae feed on the caterpillar’s body fluids, and force their way out once they are ready to pupate, about 12 days after hatching. This kills the host caterpillar.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP-Zoology-Insects, Wasps-01

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

John Early, 'Wasps and bees - Parasitic wasps', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 January 2022)

Story by John Early, published 24 Sep 2007