Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Tomato Horn Worms & the Braconid Wasp larvae.

Here's some photos of a green Tomato Horn Worm (THW) that is covered with white Braconid Wasp (BW) larvae. Came across one of them on the branch of one of my tomato plants today.  I cut the branch off with the THW on it and laid it on my sidewalk. Then I snapped off about a dozen photos of it. Then, I did some reasearch and discovered the following info on the Internet:

The THW is the host of the BW. The THW eats the leaves on the tomato plants and also feeds on the green tomatoes plus eats leaves of other vegetable plants.

The THW's are usually from 2 to 4 inches long.
This one is very close to 4" long. This one is headed for disaster.

A full grown BW seems to have laid its eggs INSIDE  the THW.

Then the BW larvae eggs popped out to the outside on this THW.

All of the small individual larve eggs, about 1/4 inch contain a BW.

There seems to be several hundred of these white larve eggs on the BW that are just starting to pop out through the THW's skin..

That will eventually hatch as adult BW's that  fly away within seconds of hatching to find more THW's .

To lay another batch of their larvae eggs inside of.

So, it's recommended that if you see a THW with BW larvae on it,

To leave it alone and let the BW larvae and eggs do its thing,

Which is for the BW to feed upon the THW and to weaken  the THW and to kill off the THW as the BW's grow to maturity before they fly away!