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Hi Ed, I've never seen one of these colourful wasps before and don't know too much about them but just found a very similar looking insect in a guide, could it be Chrysis ignita.
Ed, forget the above I believe that it's impossible to distinguish between species of Ruby-tailed Wasps from the photo so agreeing with genus.
Chris Brooks - www.dragonfly-images.co.uk
My Flickr site - www.flickr.com/photos/ceb1298
Thanks for that Chris. I thought it might be Chrysis, but remember reading somewhere that Chrysis species and Chrysura are similar. Thought I'd err on the side of caution!
This is defo a Chrysid wasp (Ruby-tailed wasps is one of their names) - a parasite of other wasps eg Digger wasps, and they are often impossible to ID from pics. The taxonomists are busy revising some of the genera (Eg Hedychrum) at the moment, so don't expect to get this much further. A few are distinctive enough for experts to be sure of and someone might chime in here with the exact ID. Your best chance may be to post it on a specialist hymenopteran site where world experts in these often give feedback. I got what turned out to be a rare species from Greece ID'd here: http://www.forum.hymis.de/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=8920
Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.
That's a stunning photo Ed, well worth clicking through to see it at full size.
Agree with comments above re ID.
Entomologist and biological recorder
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