Currently viewing the category: "Cuckoo Wasps"
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Subject: Strange fly/bug
Location: thornlie, western australia
March 29, 2016 4:55 am
Hi, my mum had a bug/fly land on her and swatted it. It died but is dark in colour but when the photo is taken with flash has amazing colours and a very big sting, similar to a bee but much bigger and with barbs on it.
Signature: Email

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Though it appears to be a stinger, the Cuckoo Wasp is incapable of stinging.  The female uses her stinger-like ovipositor to lay eggs and according to the Brisbane Insect site:  “Most species are external parasites of other wasp larvae. Females lay eggs in nest of other wasps (Eumeninae of Vespidae and  Sphecidae) while the nest host collect food for larvae. Cuckoo Wasp larvae hatch and feed on the food or the host larvae.”

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

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Subject: Gall Insect
Location: Fairfield, California
March 28, 2016 1:40 pm
Hello Bugman!
I have a couple oak galls in a sealed bag and this morning, I found this brilliant green insect walking around on the exterior of one of the galls. I was not expecting to see such a beautiful insect since the gall wasps with which I am familiar are usually black! The galls were collected from the ground under an unidentified species of oak on March 23, 2016, in Fairfield, California. The insect is approximately 3/8 inch in length. Thanks for your help!
Signature: EntoMasterGardener

Possibly Pteromalid

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear EntoMasterGardener,
We are going to go way out on a limb in our response because of the interesting information we have learned while researching your request, and then we will consult Eric Eaton to see how far afield we have gone.  We tried researching green gall wasps and we stumbled upon an image that led us to a Nature Conservation Imaging where we learned the wasp in the image is a Pteromalid in the family Pteromalidae and that “The thousands of other parasitic wasps include the Chalcidoidea, which tend to be tiny and are often known as chalcids. There are more than 1,000 species in Europe including a good number of Pteromalid wasps (3mm). They are predominantly parasitoids, affecting a wide range of insect groups. A few are parasitoids of the larvae of gall wasps, so can emerge from galls, but they are not the causers.”  We then turned to BugGuide to see if we could find any visual matches, and we cannot say for certain that your Wasp resembles any definitively.  The antennae on your wasp are quite distinctive, and we will get back to you once we hear from Eric Eaton.

Eric Eaton sets us straight
Daniel:
Neither.  This is a cuckoo wasp, family Chrysididae.  They are parasites of other solitary wasps, and solitary bees, and perhaps one of the host insects nested inside an abandoned gall and the cuckoo wasp followed it inside.
Eric

Possibly Pteromalid

Cuckoo Wasp

Hi!
Thank you so much for your fast response! I think you are right on track! Through the awesome power of the Internet, my pictures found their way to UC Davis Professor of Entomology Robbin Thorpe and this was his response:
“The beautiful bright metallic green critter in the photos Sharon Leos submitted is a cuckoo wasp, family Chrysididae.  Most are parasitic on aculeate wasps and bees.  Some of which will nest in cavities like the emergence holes in oak galls.  Check out the family Chrysididae on Bug Guide for more illustrations.  For more information on the group, contact Dr. Lynn Kimsey, the Director of our Bohart Museum of Entomology.  Lynn is an expert on the group.  She should be able to identify the critter in more detail.  Lynn can be reached at: lskimsey@ucdavis.edu.  Regards,    Robbin”
I look forward to hearing what you learn from Eric Eaton, as well. Thank you so much! Have a great day!
Cheers!
~sharon

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Subject: Metallic blue house fly with big stinger
Location: Orlando, Florida
March 24, 2016 1:20 pm
3/23/16
Dear Mr. Bugman,
I was at my aunt house in Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida, at the beginning of spring in 2016 and I came across an interesting fly that was a dark metallic blue with a stinger as big as big as the fly itself was. The fly was normal size and the stinger was slightly curved. It had a sort of yellowish color to it, but it was mostly brown. It was dead when I found it, and that was the only one I saw, but I still took a picture (though I sincerely apologize for the poor photo taking). Please identify it and if it is a new species, to please call it the Benjamin Fly. Thank you for your time and have a good day.
-Benjamin Gillan, 12 year old
Signature: Benny G.

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Benny,
This is not a Fly.  Flies in the order Diptera have but two wings, a single pair.  Your Cuckoo Wasp from the Family Chrysididae has four wings.  According to BugGuide:  “The female sting has been modified into an egg-laying tube with highly reduced valvulae and poison gland. As a result, unlike most other aculeates, chrysidids cannot sting and can be easily handled.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery fly
Location: Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center, Everglades, FL
October 2, 2015 11:59 am
Hello there! I am an insect person who loves insects and is hoping to maybe become an entomologist one day. I have many insect pictures which I am trying to identify. I also have a collection of insects I find every now and then dead on the ground. (I don’t kill bugs for my collection, I only take them if they are dead). I do however have many I cannot identify. I have tried my 5 insect guides, google search, many bug identification guides online, and google image search but have came up empty handed. One of which I have failed to identify is this blue fly I found in the everglades. It was taken with a Sony-cyber shot camera. So I was wondering if you could help identify this insect. Thank you!
Signature: Cicada lover

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Cicada Lover,
This gorgeous creature is not a fly.  It is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae and probably in the Subfamily Chrysidinae which is pictured on BugGuide.  We are very fascinated with your “dead insect” collection philosophy.

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Subject: Fly or wasp
Location: NT22217222
July 27, 2015 11:48 am
Picture taken 25th June 2015.
Abdomen and thorax colouring of Chrysidid wasp, head of a fly?
Any help with ID would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers,
Signature: Stevie in Edinburgh

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Stevie,
We believe the similarity to the head of a fly in your image is an illusion, and that your Cuckoo Wasp is
Chrysis ignita which is pictured on BWARS where it states the species is found:  “Throughout England,Wales, Scotland and Ireland but not found on the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Recorded from the Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands.”

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Subject: Colourfull fly
Location: Portugal
May 16, 2015 11:37 pm
What kind of fly is this?
Never saw this one before….
Signature: Tineke

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Tineke,
This looks like a Cuckoo Wasp to us, but the red abdomen is something we do not see in North America.  It might be
 Hedychrum rutilans which is pictured on Shutterstock.  There is also some information on Chrysis.net.  Cuckoo Wasps can curl up for protection when disturbed or threatened as your image indicates.

Thank you very much Daniel for your quick respons…
Its a beautiful insect, it was dead when I found it and I keep it in a little box.
Best regards,
Tineke

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination