Insect larva in a mud home with 2 caterpillars for food – August 25, 2007

Insects in a mud home with 2 caterpillars, originally uploaded by Camp Naturalist.

I find these “gems” in a 1/2 inch wide mud “home” that is attached to a tent that is left outside to dry. The caterpillars are still alive but can’t move very well. I assume that they are stund by a wasp like creature to be food for the small green larva (in the center of the picture). The mud structure looks like a vase. It’s pretty amazing! The small black piles are probably fras(insect waste) from the caterpillars. When I broke this “vase” open I had no idea that I would find this!

Here what the opening of the mud structure looks like.  The bottom and right side are broken from me removing the structure from the tent.  It reminds me of potter shards that would be found at an archaeological dig. 


15 Responses to “Insect larva in a mud home with 2 caterpillars for food – August 25, 2007”

  1. 1 James
    October 15, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    I found a similar “cocoon” in my Columbus, Ohio patio umbrella. Tried to move the cocoon so it wouldn’t go into winter storage. Thought the cocoon would be silky. Was surprised when the peanut-shaped clay structure fell to the brick patio and busted like a miniature clay pot. Out popped two larvae that looked like Japanese beetle pupae, but smaller.

  2. 2 Momo
    April 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Do you what exact insect does that?

  3. 3 Baba
    August 30, 2008 at 8:45 am

    It looks like a job by a potter wasp – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potter_wasp

  4. 4 My
    March 28, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Thanks for the info. I just found a cocoon in my backyard as well and was surprised to find three freaky looking caterpillars that I had never seen before. I felt the urge to investigate further. They looked just like your picture. Potter wasps, eh.

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