Filmed Leopard Moth Attacked by Wasp!
So I was out watering the garden today when I heard a loud rustling in the grass. To my surprise a wasp was going to town on a large white moth with black spots. I rushed in for my camera and tripod and captured the 5+ minute battle (massacre) on tape, here it is condensed for your study! I am trying to find out if the wasp was merely after a late Tuesday breakfast or if it was trying to find a home for its little wasplets. I identified the moth as a Leopard Moth, male due to its yellow banding, and the wasp I believe is just a common wasp, which I think are not parasitic. I posted it to “Ask a Biologist” to see if they can give me the ringside details. In certain moments it looks like the wasp is stinging the moth, in another about half way through the video the wasp goes to the moths underside and begins to chew it in half. In any case, I kept the moth, post mortem and post wasp snacking, for study to see if anything occurs. I am certainly glad that wasps are not big enough to eye me up for lunch.
That looked like a yellow jacket tearing up the Leopard Moth. I would guess the moth stumbled into its territory at some point possibly. They are fierce little SOB’s. Could have been part of the ‘Los Horribles’?
Too bad they haven’t figured out how to BBQ. Wasp and Wasplets would have had some good eats ala Pecan Smoked Leopard Moth.