A Very Unusual Wasp

A look through the Rush flowering in the seasonal pond of the quarry produced an unexpected result recently. A flightless species of parasitic wasp, less than 2mm long, that moves around by jumping. It parasitises scale insects and other very small bugs. Close inspection showed it to be a metallic blue/black colour, and very difficult to see. Its antennae have a distinctive flattened section that fits into a groove atop its head if needs be. In some cases a single egg of this family of parasitoids can give rise to several thousand larvae, and the egg retains a stalk that protrudes from its host to allow air to the young larva. There are very few records of this native species, and this is a first for the Country Park.

Dinocarsis hemiptera

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