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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    180

    Default Parasitic wasps of solitary bees- with pictures

    Here is an old nesting block that has osmia cornifrons aka japanese hornfaced bees nesting in it. The block had split down the middle. Inside the block, where the bee larva should be, there was a larva of something else. I kept the block in an enclosed area to see what would emerge, and it turned out to be a parasitic wasp. Does anyone know what kind of wasp this is? The wasp is a shiny metallic blue color.

    here are pictures of the wasp and the nesting block:





    Here you can see the wasp standing on the left side of the nesting block:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Limestone, Alabama
    Posts
    592

    Default

    I didn't look at your photos yet, but the most serious wasp predator of the mason bees is a Chalcid wasp known as the Monodontomerus wasp. They are tiny, only about 3 or 4 mm long. The body is mostly a shimmering green metallic color with some yellow tint on the legs.

    The ovipositor of this wasp can penetrate wood up to 3/4 the length of its ovipositor which is encased in a sheath and is kept folded beneath the abdomen. The ovipositor is very long for a small wasp.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Almost certainly a chrysidid, or "cuckoo wasp" ...

    The Chrysididae are my favorite family of hymenoptera. I raise solitary bees for the twin purposes of encouraging native pollinators and attracting these wonderful little parasites.

    Here's a link to a page of info and photos on them.

    Cheers,

    Dan

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