A wiley wasp

[The following is an invited post by Alex Wild of Myrmecos blog]

Little did Ted know that giving me the keys to his beetle blog meant I’d be able  to use his own soapbox to convince everyone that Hymenoptera (the ants, bees, and wasps) are just waaaayyyyy cooler than Coleoptera.

Exhibit A:

Leucopsis sp. ovipositing into a solitary bee nest

Meet Leucospis. This colorful insect, about a centimeter in length, is a parasite of wood-nesting bees and wasps. In this photo she is drilling down through a leafcutter bee nest to lay her egg in one of the bee’s sealed cells. There, her larva will consume the developing bee.

Leucospid wasps aren’t terribly common, so I was rather surprised to see this one on my front porch in downtown Urbana.

This entry was posted in Hymenoptera and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A wiley wasp

  1. Truly an amazing photo!

  2. jtrager says:

    Maybe not techinically the best, Alex, but the photo is amazing to those unfamiliar with these mighty cool beasties.

  3. Henry Hespenheide says:

    Love those hind femora! They and the Chalcididae are among the top hymenops. They and the weevil genus Tachygonus do cool variants on a repetitive structure. The weevil genus Laemosaccus and the anthonomines gussy up their front femora with teeth. Darwin (more or less): Variation is the spice of life.

  4. Dave Stone says:

    Exhibit A is pretty convincing, and even though you’re not entirely enamored with the image, you do have to admit that the spot characteristics are pretty clear and sharp…

    Nothin’ like hijacking another blog!

  5. I don’t care what you say, Alex – that is an awesome photo!

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