Cotesia glomerata

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Cotesia glomerata
Cotesia glomerata.png
A Cotesia glomerata drawing
Scientific classification
C. glomerata
Binomial name
Cotesia glomerata
  • Apanteles glomeratus [1]

Cotesia glomerata, the white butterfly parasite, is a small parasitic wasp species belonging to family Braconidae.


Cocoons of Cotesia glomerata with the remains of a dead parasitized caterpillar
Larvae of Cotesia glomerata emerging from a caterpillar of a Pieris brassicae butterfly

The adults of Cotesia glomerata can reach a length of 3–7 millimetres (0.12–0.28 in). 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.[2]

Life cycle[edit]

After hatching from the pupae, females mate almost immediately and begin laying eggs.[3] The eggs are laid in the larvae of caterpillars, where the C. glomerata larvae develop; multiple eggs numbering between 16-52 are deposited in each caterpillar.[4] 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.[3]

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


This species is present in most of Europe, in the Afrotropic ecozone, the Australasian ecozone, the Nearctic ecozone and the Neotropical ecozone.[5]


  1. ^ Biolib
  2. ^ Laing, J.E.; Levin, D.B. (1982). "A review of the biology and a bibliography of Apanteles glomeratus (L.) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)". Biocontrol News and Information. 3 (1): 7–23. ISSN 0143-1404.
  3. ^ a b Cornell University College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Cotesia (=Apanteles) glomerata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)
  4. ^ Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin Cotesia glomerata, Parasite of Imported Cabbageworm
  5. ^ Fauna Europaea

Further reading[edit]

  • Karowe, D. N.; Schoonhoven, L. M. (1992). "Interactions among three trophic levels: The influence of host plant on performance of Pieris brassicae and its parasitoid, Cotesia glomerata". Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 62 (3): 241–51. doi:10.1111/j.1570-7458.1992.tb00664.x.
  • Mattiacci, Letizia; Dicke, Marcel (1995). "Host-age discrimination during host location by Cotesia glomerata, a larval parasitoid of Pieris brassicae". Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 76: 37–48. doi:10.1111/j.1570-7458.1995.tb01944.x.
  • Wäckers, F.L. (2001). "A comparison of nectar- and honeydew sugars with respect to their utilization by the hymenopteran parasitoid Cotesia glomerata". Journal of Insect Physiology. 47 (9): 1077–1084. doi:10.1016/S0022-1910(01)00088-9. PMID 11472770.
  • Coleman, R. A.; Barker, A. M.; Fenner, M. (1999). "Parasitism of the herbivore Pieris brassicae L. (Lep., Pieridae) by Cotesia glomerata L. (Hym., Braconidae) does not benefit the host plant by reduction of herbivory". Journal of Applied Entomology. 123 (3): 171–7. doi:10.1046/j.1439-0418.1999.00334.x.
  • Gu, Hainan; Wang, Qun; Dorn, Silvia (2003). "Superparasitism in Cotesia glomerata: Response of hosts and consequences for parasitoids". Ecological Entomology. 28 (4): 422–31. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2311.2003.00535.x.

External links[edit]