Red Admiral Cat

caterwallinSeptember 12, 2012

Sorry this is a little late. I seem to be behind this year in getting pics off of my camera onto the computer. Here is one of the Red Admiral cats that I raised back around the end of May. I had collected about 40 tiny cats outside but unfortunately most of them had been parasitized. I found those tiny white wasp pupae inside most of the nests right beside the tiny cats. It seems like the cats don't stand much chance...the parasitoids can't even wait until the cats get bigger to attack them. Anyway, here's one of the lucky ones that made it...

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Nice picture, Cathy!

I just hate those parsitoid or parasitic wasps, whatever they are. They must follow female red admirals around 24/7 to be there when she lays her eggs, so they'll know just when to do their damage. The RAs and I got lucky this past spring and there very few white cocoons in the nests - 'wish that were true every year in every season.

Sherry

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 10:21PM
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caterwallin

Thanks, Sherry. Yes, I hate those wasps too. It's almost like the poor little Red Admirals don't stand much of a chance when any of those wasps are around. I agree with you that they must be watching all of the time to know just when to strike. With other kinds of cats, I have a really good success rate if I get them when they're tiny, but it's very iffy with the RA's. Just because I find x number of RA nests doesn't mean that I'll have x number of healthy cats inside. When I see that little wasp cocoon in the nest alongside the tiny RA cat, my heart sinks.
Cathy

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 11:48PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Mine, too, Cathy. I always destroy the cocoon - one less adult wasp to contribute to the cycle.

Sherry

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:31AM
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