Thursday, 21 June 2012

Parasitoid Wasp (Perilampidae)

This tiny wasp, about 3mm long, has been making itself at home in our back garden.  The first time I saw it, it was hanging on to a garlic mustard leaf during the high winds of last week.  As the wind blew, the leaf flung the wasp about, flashing the brilliant red/gold of it's thorax.
My thanks to an expert at iSpot who says this is likely to be a parasitic wasp, Perilampidae.
In this species, the larva rather than the egg-laying female gains access to a host; once there, it continues to burrow into a secondary host - another parasite fly or wasp larva.  It makes me think of those wooden Russian dolls, that when taken apart reveal another smaller one, which when taken apart reveals another one, and so on.
As far as I can work out, these incredible looking wasps are not common in the UK.  It's rather special, and each time I see it I have to run for my camera.
If anyone knows more about these little wasps, I'd love to hear about it.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Omi, It certainly is a strange looking little insect! I have read about them before but don't think I have ever seen one, I'm sure I would have remembered if I had :-) Well done for spotting it and getting the nice, detailed photos.

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  2. What an amazing looking Wasp Omi and one I've never encountered. Great photos too!

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    1. Thanks Jason, it must be my favourite find in the garden so far. I've grown quite attached, lol.

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  3. What a little beauty Omi, nature never ceases to impress me with every bug I discover, well spotted on seeing the tiny little chap!!

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    1. Thank you Dave :) I agree, there certainly are some weird and wonderful bugs out there!

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