Dead larva

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  • #15027


    Hi all (especially Norm)

    This sighting report received today – anyone like to offer an explanation – it was a Monarch.

    Larva had died and was hanging by prolegs, last checked 2 days ago and was fat and healthy looking. Corpse Was very shriveled and black with dried brownish fluid around leaf. Also very fine silk "brushed" across underside of leaf. Not sure if it died by parasitic wasp or some kind of bacterial thing. I have 2 other larvae on separate plant about 300mm away not affected. Any idea of what happened? I cant supply a photo as my partner was very upset and gave the poor thing a burial.

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  • #28621


    Hi Norm.
    The larva was around 40mm or a little more and quite fat. I now see what you mean by the soldier bug, nasty critters for sure. Ive seen the green ones before and they give off a funny scent when handled. Thanks for the advice, my last 2 larvae are going to cocoon very soon and will come inside.



    Its always difficult trying to pinpoint a problem like this without a photo, so it involves a bit of guess work. How big was the larva? One culprit could be the ‘Soldier bug’ and if that is entered into the search panel at the top right of this page a couple of photos and some info will come up. This nasty beast spears the caterpillar with its lance like proboscis and sucks out the internal contents, leaving a wrinkled remains. The other possibility is a viral disease, but this is usually brought on by overcrowding on plants with poor vitality. Either way it will pay to keep a close watch on your other larvae.

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