Subject: Beetle with metallic pink abdomen, green head
Location: Minsmere, Suffolk, UK
August 11, 2012 5:40 pm
I wonder if you can help here. The beetle was small and fast and the photo is poor, but I can’t find any pink and green beetles like it. Seen 11 Aug 2012, RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk, UK … sunny afternoon on a tank trap block (concrete) between beach and marsh. I took the photo.
This is not a beetle, but rather a Hymenopteran, the insect order that contains bees, ants and wasps. After some careful internet research, we found an insect with this particular color pattern on the Heathland Solitary Wasps website, and it is called the Ruby Tail Wasp, Hedychridium roseum. The Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society (BWARS) website has a map an Suffolk is included in the limited UK range of the Ruby Tail Wasp. We learned on Chrysis.net that the Ruby Tail Wasp is classified as a Cuckoo Wasp, meaning that instead of providing for its own young, the female Ruby Tail Wasp lays an egg in the nest of another Hymenopteran and the developing larva eats the food that was collected for the host species larva.
Thank you, Daniel, so much for all this extremely interesting and helpful information. I’m only sorry the photo was so poor … it was a rush to get a pic. at all as the creature was scuttling towards a dark crevice in the concrete clock at break neck speed!