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Tobacco Hornworm and Braconid Wasps

Tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae), parasitized by Braconid wasp, Cotesia congregata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Stephen Pohlman, 2020, Clemson University

Tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae), parasitized by Braconid wasp, Cotesia congregata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae).
Stephen Pohlman, 2020, Clemson University

Fast Fact

Cotesia congregata are important biological control agents of about a dozen moth species in two families (Sphingidae and Noctuidae).

Life Cycle

An adult female wasp deposits eggs into the body cavity of a caterpillar. The eggs hatch into larvae that feed on and develop inside the caterpillar. The wasp larvae chew through the caterpillar’s skin, where they spin cocoons, pupate inside the cocoons, then emerge as adults to mate and find new hosts.

For more information about Braconid wasps and other beneficial insects, see HGIC 2820, Natural Enemies: Predators and Parasitoids.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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