When I first saw this Hornworm on my tomato plant I didn’t know what the cocoons on its body were. After doing research I discovered that a Braconid Wasp deposits her eggs inside the hornworm caterpillar’s body. The Wasp larvae develop and feed inside the caterpillar. The Braconid Wasp larvae chew their way out of their host and spin silk cocoons on the caterpillar. The tiny adult wasps emerge from these cocoons a short time later.

Note: Hornworms are the larval stage of the Sphinx Moth

Hornworm With Wasp Eggs
Hornworm With Wasp Eggs

How I Got The Photo: Braconid Wasp Cocoons On A Hornworm

I was hand-holding my camera and lens to photograph this caterpillar in my garden.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Lens: Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM


  • Location: Near the Ouachita National Forest (Arkansas)
  • Date & Time Taken: September 14, 2016 (07:22:29 A.M.)
  • Aperture Priority
  • Aperture: f8.0
  • Shutter speed: 1/250 sec. (as determined by the camera)
  • ISO: 1000
  • White Balance – Auto
  • Metering Mode: Evaluative
  • Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
  • Back-button Focus
  • Single Point Continuous Auto Focus
  • Focal Length: 400 mm
  • Processed With Luminar 4

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