Cuckoo Wasp in Virginia Garden

While I was examining my Blackeyed Peas the other day trying to figure out what the heck might be eating them and creating so many holes in the leaves, I came across this incredibly beautiful, iridescent turquoise-blue-green wasp. Talk about a gorgeous little creature!

It's a Chrysididae ... a Cuckoo Wasp.

It is estimated that there are over 3,000 different species of Chrysididae (227 of which are in the United States) and their incredible colors can range from metallic blues, greens and purples to gold, red, magenta, copper and violet. Cuckoo Wasps are small (usually less than 1 inch in length), solitary wasps.

Named after the cuckoo bird, Chrysididae are parasites and lay their eggs in the nests of other species. When the eggs hatch, they feed on the other larvae in the nest. The bodies of adult Cuckoo Wasps are covered with a hard, dimpled exoskeleton and, when confronted or scared, they will often curl up into a ball to protect their soft underbelly. This helps to keep a cuckoo wasp from getting stung or bitten when it sneaks into another nest to lay it's eggs. 

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Sep 24 2014

Join the Conversation!

Post a Comment

Your Name
Website (optional)
Check here to receive an email notification when someone replies directly to your comment
Help me fight spammers! Please enter the answer to 1 + 1 below