Journal archives for April 2020

April 11, 2020

Observation on Pieris brassicae with parasite Cotesia glomerata during lockdown

On Wednesday, 7.4.20 during Covid-19 lockdown (in Spain you are not even allowed to go for a walk alone!) while I was going shopping I noticed two caterpillars of Pieris brassicae and decided to take them home to observe. I also ripped out some Brassicaceae and planted it in a pot in my patio. The weed seemed rather withered and the caterpillars didn't move much, so I didn't take a photo on the first day.
On Friday, 10.4. morning I finally did:
caterpillar 1: observation 41898885
caterpillar 2: observation 41833395
and was very surprised in the afternoon when I found yellow cocoons attached to one of the larvae.
caterpillar 1: observation 41833397
Unfortunately I didn't see the coming out. The other larvae also hasn't moved, so might be up to the same fate.

Update: 11.4. 17:30 It was, and this time I was more on time!
observation 41908857 of caterpillar 2 at 14:47

Update: 12.4. The zombie caterpillars are still moving occasionally. They have both arched themselves around the cocoons in a kind of "protective" way. Spooky!

Update: 13.4. Just to prove my point, they are now both sitting head up
caterpillar 1: observation 42078327
caterpillar 2: observation 42078328

Update:
on the 18.4. one of the caterpillars fell down and died, on the next day the other one as well. I assumed that this is more or less the time the wasps need for pupation and feared they hadn't survived. The weather had been - and continues to be - rather cool and very rainy.
27.4. Nonetheless today I noticed two wasps on the cocoons!: observation 43855843

Update 28.4. Today emerged the wasps of the second caterpillar. I find it especially interesting to see the open lids of the cocoons.
observation 44300609

Posted on April 11, 2020 11:32 by susanne-kasimir susanne-kasimir | 8 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment

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