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Good or bad?

Posted by subtrop 10b (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 13, 12 at 13:55

Fluffy white mass, about 2 inches on papaya leave. You can see oval shaped eggs(?) inside, about 2 mm long. First time I see this anywhere in the yard. What might this be?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Good or bad?

Good thing I left it where it is, if it's what I think it is:
braconid wasp cocoons...

RE: Good or bad?

Braconids parasitize insects. They don't lay eggs on plant material.

If you're interested in learning what it is, I suggest you "cage" it by enclosing it with a sheer fabric such as bridal tulle, then check periodically to see what develops/hatches.

Oh yes, and let us know too.

RE: Good or bad?

I found out what it is on bugguide:
And they say under neath is the caterpillar, you just don't see it anymore, since it's covered with the cocoons from the wasps. And yes, I do have that large caterpillars eating my papaya leaves.

RE: Good or bad?

While I am not sure what this is I am fairly sure it is not and egg case of a Braconid Wasp.
Is this an egg case or a cocoon?
Is this the larva of a beneficial or a pest?

Here is a link that might be useful: About Braconid Wasps

RE: Good or bad?

The text on the bugguide page clearly states that they are braconid cocoons. One image there shows an end view. The cocoons are in the fuzzy stuff surrounding the dead caterpillar.

God detective work. Thanks.

BTW, where do you live?

RE: Good or bad?

There are also other images of this oddity to be found on the internet. Very cool!

RE: Good or bad?

jean001a, I live in South Florida. And I'm glad that I didn't destroy this when I found it first, I just thought another pest to devour my papaya leaves....

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