Subject: Shiny metallic blue-green bee
September 3, 2013 8:58 pm
I found this insect on my window screen. I captured it in a bottle so I could look at it more closely without it flying off, and after a few minutes it seemed to calm down and stay seated in the cap of the bottle. Even after I took the cap off, it did not react for a minute or so, after which it began to clean its antennae and buzz its wings a few times (without flying off). It looks like some sort of Halictid, but I could be mistaken. What do you think? Thanks!
Signature: Denny P
This lovely creature is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae. According to BugGuide: “Parasitoids feed on the larva of the host and cleptoparasites “steal” the host’s food. The food-stealing behavior of cleptoparasite species resembles that of the cuckoo bird and gave rise to the cuckoo wasp’s name. Hosts of parasitoid species include bees, sphecid wasps, potter wasps, sawflies, silk moths, and the eggs of stick insects. Cleptoparasitic species feed on provisions of sphecid wasp nests, which may include dead spiders, true bugs, aphids, or thrips.”