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Apanteles glomeratus wasp cocoons with the cabbage white butterfly caterpillar

Turns out these pretty little golden cocoons belong to a parasitic wasp that laid it's eggs inside the caterpillar, which survives the ordeal of the parasites emerging and then stands guard for predators until it eventually dies of starvation.

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Comment by Lissa on October 11, 2012 at 17:38

Had a look in Brisbane Insects and they only have the White Cabbage Moth and White Cabbage Butterfly (didn't realise they were two different bugs).

I thought maybe the caterpillar was parasitised by something, but when I picked it off it was in good health. It was just hugging the little cocoons.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on October 11, 2012 at 15:23

Fascinating! If you've the time to observe them, pick the leaf and see what happens. Or a troll through Brisbane Insects.

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