Currently viewing the category: "Cuckoo Wasps"
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Subject: Metallic Blue Bee?
Location: Northeast FL
August 29, 2014 9:47 am
I saw this bee (?) in my yard here in northeast FL. It was a striking metallic blue, with some green especially on the underside of the abdomen. Size was about 1 1/2 to 2 cm. I thought it might be a sweat bee that was more blue than the green I usually see. But it looks like the bee might be eating something, maybe a smaller insect, which would make it something besides a sweat bee. Whatever it is, it was a beautiful blue color.
Signature: Karen in FL

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Karen,
This beautiful Hymenopteran is not a bee, but rather a wasp, a Cuckoo Wasp to be exact.  Cuckoo Wasps in the family Chrysididae lay eggs in the nests of unsuspecting hosts, other Hymenopterans.

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Subject: Shiny green fly/bee?
Location: China Spring, Texas
August 14, 2014 2:05 am
I have only seen this bug twice in 3 years, both times in the summer. Its antenna move very fast, and I found out they are extremely sensitive to vibrations. Not very good pics I know, just tell me what else you need from me to identify? He’s not aggressive at all and is actually very beautiful up front.
Signature: WeirdKitty

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear WeirdKitty,
This is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae, and the common name arises, according to BugGuide, because of:  “the fact that these wasps lay eggs in the nests of unsuspecting hosts.”  Cuckoo Wasps are harmless to humans as they cannot sting.

Oh thank you very much!!
That’s pretty interesting, I will definitly be doing more research. Thank you!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blue/Green Wasp?
Location: Nicholasville, KY
August 5, 2014 10:11 am
Found this little beauty in our warehouse. It has a blue-green iridescent exoskeleton and flies really quickly, but not much range. I was able to catch it without much damage. As you can see, it has a wicked stinger/proboscus with an alarming extension for its size! I got a couple of close-up images while holding it with tweezers. Any ideas on identification?
Signature: ISS

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear ISS,
This lovely wasp is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae, and despite its fearsome looking stinger, it is not an aggressive species and it is not known to sting humans.  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: metallic blue bug
Location: mandeville louisiana
May 26, 2014 10:16 am
hi i was at an old abondoned metal shack taking pictures and i found this wierd looking bug and my friends and family are arguing about what kind of bug it is.. please help?
Signature: -madalyn bilac

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Hi Madalyn,
This is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae, and you can find a matching image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “The name ‘cuckoo wasp’ refers to the fact that these wasps lay eggs in the nests of unsuspecting hosts” and “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.” 

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Subject: Shiny metallic blue-green bee
Location: Connecticut
September 3, 2013 8:58 pm
Hello,
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

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Hi Denny,
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.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: small green and purple wasp?
Location: Wolverhampton UK
July 21, 2013 3:38 am
Saw this bug that appeared to be a wasp in the bus stop by my house in Wolverhampton UK. Never seen anything like it before so was interested. It was under an inch long very metallic colours with a bold almost turquoise green abdomen and purple rump. Any ideas
Signature: Adam

Ruby Tailed Wasp or other???

Ruby Tailed Wasp or other???

Dear Adam,
We thought this was going to be easy, but now we are not certain.  Last year we posted a photo of what we identified as a Ruby Tailed Wasp,
Hedychridium roseum, a species of Cuckoo Wasp.  Today, we tried to verify that and we found the BWars page which describes the wasp as being:  “Hedychridium roseum can be diagnosed by the dull, as opposed to shining, abdomen – unique to this species amongst British Hedychridium.”  It is difficult to discern if the abdomen on your specimen is dull or shining, but our previous post appears to be shining.  That brings us to another possibility, Chrysis fulgida, which we discovered on The Guardian and then verified on BWars and BioLib.  To further complicate matters, BWars has other similarly colored species, including Pseudospinolia neglecta, yet another UK Cuckoo Wasp pictured on BWars.  So, this is a Cuckoo Wasp, with a general name of Ruby Tailed Wasp, but we are not certain of the genus nor species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination