Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cuckoo wasp

I didn't get to post yesterday, which means I owe you two bugs today.

Number one is a member of the Cuckoo wasp family only known under a scientific name (as most of them), Holopyga ventralis. This species is common throughout North America wherever its host/victim, sand wasps, can be found.

Cuckoo wasps are also called gold wasps. They are usually small, metallic, and heavily armored, the latter for a very good reason. The wasps are parasites in the nests of other wasps or bees. The female slips into the nest of the host, laying an egg inside. After the egg hatches, the cuckoo wasp’s larva eats either the rightful inhabitant or in many cases the food stored in the nest. 

These wasps have no stinger, so when they are attacked they curl into a ball for defense which is very effective given their string armor.

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog! Would like to subscribe, but when I click the hyperlink, it comes out in masses of computer jargon. How can I subscribe? I was brought up to fear and hate insects, but I am overcoming it with education and hiding behind a camera, which I've progressed to getting closer without the camera. Progress indeed. Thank you for being a good entomology teacher!