It’s been a while since I’ve written about Cuckoo Wasps (or Cuckoo Bees, or Jewel Wasps, as they are also sometimes called). These wasps are brilliantly metallic with an exoskeleton that looks like it’s been bedazzled. I just discovered an amazing series of photos of these most lovely of insects:

Specimen [BMNH(E)1015020] is the property of the Natural History Museum, London (BMNH). Image copyright © Z. Lieberman 2012

Note the 2mm scale in the photo. These are tiny bits of wonderful.  More about Chrysids from the source of these photos:

“Chrysidids are either parasitoids or cleptoparasites – baby chrysidids devour the egg or larval form of a host insect to grow, or they hatch within the nest of another insect, kill the young, and eat the food stores that the host mother provided for her own offspring….
Some species are parasitoids, but most are cleptoparasites on wasps and solitary bees, and sometimes on lepidopterans (moths and butterflies). The egg is typically laid in the host nest before the parent and/or caretakers have finished provisioning it with food. The newly-hatched chrysidine larva kills the egg or host larva and nourishes itself on the provisions. This behavior is why they are called ‘cuckoos’, due to its similarity to the behavior of some cuckoo birds.”

Specimen [BMNH(E)1015020] is the property of the Natural History Museum, London (BMNH). Image copyright © Z. Lieberman 2012

Shiny little internal killers with a life history worthy of Alien.  The world is more amazing than we can know, if we just look closely enough.

shiny wasp

Specimen [BMNH(E)1015016] is the property of the Natural History Museum, London (BMNH). Image copyright © Z. Lieberman 2012

Additional series of photos of a blue (and red and orange!) species

Click on any of these photos for more info about the wasps and bigger images!

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!

4 Comments

  1. Awesome……..Just Awesome Share.I love it.Looking forward for more.Alex,Thanks.

  2. […] insects” pile. Yet nothing is further from the truth; earlier today, Bug Girl showed us some mind blowing cuckoo wasps, and I’d like to show you a few samples of the colorful beetles I’ve seen in the past […]

  3. Are there any theories regarding these amazing color patterns on Cuckoo wasps?

  4. Pest Control Durham NC June 30, 2013 at 6:00 am

    O… hh…………… It’s really just awesome just awesome. I can’t believe my eyes. This Cuckoo Wasps are too much nice, beautiful, and mind blowing. I think if anyone getting bored or angry he can easily be refresh his mind by seeing these types of such romantic colorful insects.

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