Subject: Weird flying bug
Geographic location of the bug: West Yorkshire UK
Time: 05:06 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi this was in my garden this sunny morning, any clue what it is?
How you want your letter signed: Sam
We found your parasitic Hymenopteran pictured on Nature Spot where it is identified as Gasteruption jaculator. According to the site: “The female will visit the nests of various solitary bees or wasps, and will push her ovipositor into the nest, depositing her own eggs on or near to the eggs of the host, on hatching they will feed on the grubs of the host as well as on stored food.” The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust has this lengthy description of the process: “The female finds nests of various solitary bees or wasps, and will then spend some time assessing each hole. She does so, it is thought, by feeling for vibrations from the grubs moving around inside, as the nest hole will have been blocked up to protect the grubs. Having decided on a suitable nest hole, she pushes her long ovipositor through the blocked-up entrance into the nest, depositing her own eggs next to the bee grubs. Very soon the eggs hatch and immediately the young start to feed on the grubs within the nest. They will also consume the food larder of pollen and nectar, left there for the bee grubs to feed on. The fully grown larvae stay in the bee hole over winter, pupating in the spring and hatching out from May through to September, so they can be seen throughout the summer months, nectaring on a range of plants. This long summer hatching period enables the female to choose a wide range of solitary bee and wasp hosts to target for raising her own offspring, ensuring that her eggs are quite literally not all in the same basket. It also means that they can, to a certain extent, avoid being attacked themselves by other parasites, which might be the case if they all hatched at the same time.” Neither of those sites provides a common name, but the collective common name on the North American site BugGuide is Carrot Wasp.