Currently viewing the category: "Cuckoo Wasps"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Blue colored bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Holly, MI
Date: 09/10/2017
Time: 09:44 PM EDT
I found this little guy between the glass and screen on my front storm door. My first thought was a bee, till I noticed it was a beautiful blue. Can you tell me what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Patti

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Patti,
This is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae.  According to BugGuide:  “The name ‘cuckoo wasp’ refers to the fact that these wasps lay eggs in the nests of unsuspecting hosts.”  BugGuide also states:  “Most species are external parasites of wasp and bee larvae; one subfamily (Cleptinae, one genus,
Cleptes) attacks sawfly larvae, another subfamily (Amiseginae) the eggs of walkingsticks” and “Some species are parasitoids and others cleptoparasites. Either way the host larva dies.”  Though the female Cuckoo Wasp often has a very pronounced ovipositor, Cuckoo Wasps are incapable of stinging.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blue /green wasp
Location: Egypt, cairo
August 5, 2017 4:36 pm
Actually, I’ve found that bug flying inside house I just thought that it’s poison then I killed it and took a simple picture, excuse me if it’s little cloudy 🙂
I appreciate ur answer
Signature: A lee

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear A lee,
Cuckoo Wasps from other parts of the world look surprisingly similar to your individual.  According to BugGuide:  “The name ‘cuckoo wasp’ refers to the fact that these wasps lay eggs in the nests of unsuspecting hosts” and “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.
”  There was no need to kill this individual since it is perfectly harmless, so we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage and we hope future encounters will not end with a corpse. 

Actually people die every were like animals and insects in the other half of the world u’re living and dying in the same time get out of there and just turn on the news people in the middle east innocent people dies every second, wt u gonna say about that a reasonable Action every harmless being should be a life and every harmful being should pay it!! Killing animals or any being is a horrible action some times not intentionally, wt about human being unnecessary carnage? Or a massacre?!! Manup

We are an insect identification site.  Human massacre is beyond the scope of what we cover on our site.  It has always been our mission to educate the web browsing public to appreciate the wonder and beauty of the lower beasts, and we firmly believe that is a good way to appreciate the interconnectivity of all life on our fragile planet.  While we are powerless to change the world, we hope that by encouraging tolerance of the lower beasts, we are having a positive impact.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orchid bee or cuckoo wasp
Location: Birmingham AL
April 22, 2017 8:37 am
Not sure what this is. Found dead in porch in Birmingham Al
Signature: Jeremy

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Jeremy,
This is definitely a Cuckoo Wasp.  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.”

Daniel
Thank you for the reply. I have never seen one before. Very interesting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blue Bee??
Location: Pleasant Hills, Pa 15236
August 25, 2016 6:31 am
Hello,
I found what looks like a blue bee in my house this morning (August 25, 2016). It was, thankfully, dead (stalked and killed by my cat). I have never seen anything like it and my dad suggested you may be able to identify it.
Signature: Thank you, Rachel

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Rachel,
This is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae and 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: 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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination