colhig17's picture

Parasitic wasp

Observed: 8th July 2009 By: colhig17colhig17’s reputation in Invertebratescolhig17’s reputation in Invertebratescolhig17’s reputation in Invertebrates
Ruby3
Ruby
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Description:

Seen emerging from a burrow (belonging to a solitary bee?)It looks like a ruby-tailed wasp, but the red thorax doesn't match the photos I've seen. Seen by newly created heathland at the RSPB's HQ, The Lodge

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Martin Harvey's picture

Ruby-tailed wasp

Yes, it's a ruby-tailed wasp. Some of these are fiendishly difficult to identify, and I can't do any more than guess at it, but your photos do seem a good match for the female of Hedychrum niemalai as photographed by Keith Balmer on the BWARS website:
http://www.bwars.com/hedychrum_niemelai.htm

However, there may be other species that look similar, I don't know the group well enough to be sure.

If it is Hedychrum niemalai then it is a parasitoid of solitary wasps in the genus Cerceris. The ruby-tail will lay its eggs in the burrows of the host wasp, and the ruby-tail's larva will prey on the host egg or larva and then eat the food which was intended for the host larva.

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Entomologist and biological recorder

colhig17's picture

Thanks very much I made a bet

Thanks very much
I made a bet that someone would be able to ID it within the week!

Colin

"Wildlife is for Everyone"