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Beetle and wooly bear

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From: Julie Fisher
Ashfield, MA
Hello. I live in western mass. When I was walking on a mown path through my hay field I saw a strange sight. A large (about 3/4"long) looked to be riding on the back of a wooly bear caterpillar. The latter was clearly trying to evade the former, to no avail. If the beetle came off, on it climbed again! This went on and on until I walked on. I can find no information about what I was witnessing. Is this caterpillar prey to the beetle?

Thank you for your help!

Extension Message
From: Richard Hentschel
Extension Educator, Horticulture
DuPage/Kane/Kendall Unit
I suspect that the beetle was attempting to capture the worm to provision its egg laying location with food for its hatching larvae. Alternatively, it could have just been hungry and needed a meal. Without knowing more about both there is little more I can add.

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