"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Sunday, 9 August 2009

When is a Blue bee not a Blue bee? When it’s a Cuckoo Wasp.

Many thanks to Anna at Anna’s Bee World http://buzzybeegirl.wordpress.com/2009/07/. I found her great blog about her bee research after I had posted the drawing. She identified it immediately. If only I had googled “blue metallic “Wasp”” instead of “Bee”.

wonderful photo by D & K Kucharscy from Shutterstock.com

Family Hymenoptera: Chrysididae
Scientific name is from Greek, chryso, meaning "gold", referring to the metallic golden coloration of some species'.
from the excellent site “What’s That Bug” http://www.whatsthatbug.com/

I always assumed wasps are slim waisted and more slender in general than this rather chunky one. But there is no doubt about it. The pitted surface of the body and its habit of curling itself into a ball, confirm its identity. It has fewer body segments and a concave abdomen which allows it to roll itself up as protection against understandably irate hosts. They are parasitic…on bees. Hmmm..would you rather not have known that? But we all have to live. They are also called jewel wasps and come in many wonderful dazzling colours.

Thanks Anna.

4 comments:

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Wow! What a beauty! I like its colors!

GetSoiled said...

Hi Val!

You have not posted in a while and I was wondering if you are well.

Hope the move went seamlessly...

(sorry, I was too lazy to email you, I was already in your blog ☺

sharp green pencil said...

Thanks both. This is a really beautiful wasp, quite a strange looking thing really..and yes I am not getting round to posting much at the moment, mostly due to being marooned in rural Lincolnshire without a viable internet connection, and having to do quite a bit of research for a project. Currently I am enjoying a week in London with a fast connection so may get something done this week. (after gallery7bookshop/artshop visits and friend meetings etc etc ...:)

GetSoiled said...

Pfeew! Good to know you are well!!! Looking forward to more postings Val!