Cocoon for in a vineyard

Asked May 29, 2015, 10:32 AM EDT

While working the vineyard this year, I am coming across numerous cocoons located in the grow tubes of a hybrid grape that we planted a year ago April. I have not seen this cocoon before and I am concerned about its presence. I think there is a caterpillar of some sort inside and I would feel better knowing what this critter might be. I truly doubt it is any type of a beneficial. When I cut the cut cocoon with my pruners a yellowish liquid comes out. Another interesting this about this cocoon is that there are yellow spores on the outside and they become airborne when touched.

Cecil County Maryland

2 Responses

We are sending your photos to another specialist for identification. We will send you further information when we receive it. vw

Thank you for your patience. Your cocoons are those of the Eastern tent caterpillar/moth. , malacosoma americanum. The yellow liquid is usually associated with a yellow powder that is produced by the caterpillar and may cause itching if it comes in contact with your skin. It is a defense mechanism, designed to be repugnant to predators.
LS