Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Gross-Out....

Last Saturday Lauren and I left the house and glanced at our "caterpillar."  You know the kind that turn into lovely beautiful monarch butterflies?  The kids found it in the garden and we were all excited and researching on how to take care of it, etc.  

Well it turns out not all caterpillars are created equal.  This was not a caterpillar after all.  Nope.  What we had was a tomato horn worm from the garden.  That little sucker was the culprit  of why some of our tomatoes had little holey bite marks in them.  When we left the house I noticed a few (like maybe THREE!) of these little white things.  I googled it and promptly grossed out.  By the time we returned home this thing was covered in the white things.  

Here is the You Tube video I encountered:
This was a tomato horn worm we had on our hands.  And it turns out that the braconid wasp attacks this horn worm and lay eggs INSIDE the horn worm and the white things are larva that make their way and these are the cocoons.  (SICK!  GROSS!  But, WOW!!!)

 I like these shots.  I just stuck my camera in the top of the jar.
If I didn't know what that actually was, I would think...."pretty cool!"
Had we not promptly removed this sucker from the house, those little cocoons would turn into wasps.  One woman googled that her and her children let the cocoons actually become wasps and then had a "wasp release."  Yeah, we weren't going to take it that far!!!  It still was a pretty cool discovery and a good learning experience with the kids.
On a less gross note, this moth found us while we were camping in July.  He would literally not leave us alone!  He landed on my hand and I had to shake him off!  He would have sat there all day!  
This is my niece Annika (sportin' the cool shades) and hangin' with the moth : )  Waaaaaay less gross than the horn worm!

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