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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Pseudodynerus quadrisectus


I just learned these wasps prey on caterpillars. Do they prey on butterfly caterpillars such as Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Gulf Fritillary, etc.? Thank you!

Hi, Debbie:

Glad I noticed the subject line, which refers to only one species.  Many, many kinds of wasps prey on caterpillars, including paper wasps, thread-waisted wasps, potter wasps, and mason wasps like the one you mention.  Then there are parasitic wasps in the families Ichneumonidae and Braconidae that lay their eggs inside caterpillars...

The wasp you reference preys on much smaller caterpillars than swallowtails and fritillaries.  I wrote a blog post about it, too:

As far as I know, the caterpillars it preys on are moth caterpillars.

Thanks for your question!



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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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