You might remember a couple of weeks ago we set up some malaise traps for catching wasps. Two weeks later we went to see what we'd found! Mustard and I spent hours and hours at the microscope sorting through a lot of insects. We weren't very successful at catching many of the microgastrine wasps that we're studying, but we did find one specimen right at the end of the third bottle!
Although we didn't find many of our wasps, we did find some pretty awesome wasps that we wanted to share with you! These guys below are in the family Chrysididae and are parasitoids or cleptoparasitoids of other wasps or bees. Head to our citizen science website to learn about parasitoids. Cleptoparasitic wasps such the Chrysididae lay their eggs inside the nests of unrelated wasps or bees, where the baby Chrysidids eat the host young and the food the host provided for them. They are iridescent due to the structural surface of their exoskeleton... and super pretty!
The wasp below is super weird and super awesome. We're not entirely sure what family it is from - do you know? Let us know in the comments!
PhD student and her trusty dinosaur explore the world of science. Check out our Citizen Science Project, The Caterpillar Conundrum!