Natural Enemies of Caterpillars

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  • Trichogramma platneri
  • Cotesia (Apanteles) sp.
  • Habrobracon (=Bracon) xanthonotus
  • Meteorus tersus
  • Brachymeria ovata
  • Tachinid fly


  • Granulosis virus
  • Bacillus thuringiensis


  • Assassin bug
  • Brown lacewing
  • Green lacewing
  • Birds
  • Spiders

Names link to more information on identification and biology.

Click on photos to enlarge

Parasitic wasps
Trichogramma platneri adults
Identification tip: Parasitic wasps laying their eggs in caterpillar eggs.

Parastic wasp just emerged
Apanteles (Cotesia) sp. adult wasp
Identification tip: Parasitic wasp just emerged from its cocoon.

Immature wasps
Habrobracon (=Bracon) xanthonotus larvae
Identification tip: Immature wasps resembling pale maggots parasitizing an omnivorous looper.

Immature parastic wasps
Habrobracon (=Bracon ) xanthonotus larvae
Identification tip: Immature parasitic wasps that feed externally on caterpillars.

Remains of looper larvae
Identification tip: Remains of two parasitized omnivorous looper larvae.
Immature wasp
Meteorus tersus pupa
Identification tip: Immature wasp that feeds as a larva inside caterpillars.

Parasitic was emerging from pupa
Brachymeria ovata adult
Identification tip: Parasitic wasp emerging from amorbia pupa it killed.

Tachnid fly
Tachinid fly
Identification tip: Adult parasitic fly and its pupal case next to pupa of dead caterpillar from which they emerged.


Granulosis virus
Granulosis virus infection
Identification tip: Granulosis virus infection in omnivorous loopers.

BT infected looper
Bacillus thuringiensis
Identification tip: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) infection in dead looper.


Assassin bug
Assassin bug adult
Identification tip: Assassin bug adults and nymphs are slender, colorful insects, often blackish, reddish, or brown.

Brown lacewing adult
Brown lacewing adult
Identification tip: Adult brown lacewings are soft-bodied insects with four membranous wings and light brown bodies measuring approximately 3/8 inch long.
Green lacewing adult
Green lacewing larva
Identification tip: Lacewing larvae are pale with dark markings. They have long tubular mouthparts, distinct legs, and resemble tiny alligators.
Birds prey on caterpillars
Identification tip: Birds eat caterpillars and moths, especially when feeding their nestlings.
Spiders preying on moths
Identification tip
: Spiders prey on adult moths and caterpillars.

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