White Butterfly Parasite

Cotesia glomerata

''Cotesia glomerata'', the white butterfly parasite, is a small parasitic wasp species belonging to family Braconidae.
Cotesia glomerata A small parasitic Braconid wasp. Pieris butterfly larvae are the hosts. The adults feed on nectar.
5 mm body length. Australia,Braconidae,Cotesia glomerata,Geotagged,Hymenoptera,Macro,Wasp,arthropod,insect,invertebrate,new south wales,parasitic wasp,spring

Appearance

The adults of ''Cotesia glomerata'' can reach a length of 3–7 millimetres . This small braconid wasp is black, with two pairs of wings. It can parasitize a wide range of ''Pieris'' butterfly species as host, but ''Pieris brassicae'' and ''Pieris rapae'' are the main hosts. The adults feed on nectar.

Distribution

This species is present in most of Europe, in the Afrotropic ecozone, the Australasian ecozone, the Nearctic ecozone and the Neotropical ecozone.

Behavior

After hatching from the pupae, females mate almost immediately and begin laying eggs. The eggs are laid in the larvae of butterflies known as caterpillars, where the ''C. glomerata'' larvae develop; multiple eggs numbering between 16-52 are deposited in each caterpillar. After 15 to 20 days the larvae emerge, killing the parasitised caterpillar. These newly emerged larvae spin cocoons in a cluster on or nearby the host caterpillar; after 7 to 10 days the imago adult wasps hatch from these cocoons. Overall it takes between 22 and 30 days for an egg to develop to full adulthood.

''C. glomerata'' is in turn parasitized by the hyperparasite wasp ''Lysibia nana''.

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderHymenoptera
FamilyBraconidae
GenusCotesia
SpeciesC. glomerata
Photographed in
Australia