Natural History Photographs


The Chrysididae are known by various common names, such as jewel wasps, emerald wasps, or ruby wasps; all these names refer to their jewel-like colors, which may easily outdo those of various gems. They also have an alternative name, namely cuckoo wasps, which refers to their kleptoparasitic habits. They lay one (or sometimes a few) egg(s) in the nest of their host. The hatched larva of some species waits with commencing its own development till the host larva's development is almost completed; the chrysid larva then feeds on the host larva. These species are thus ectoparasitoids. Alternatively, the hatched chrysid larva kills the egg or young larva of the host and then feeds on the prey that was provisioned by the host. Species with this strategy are kleptoparasites, although one could also say they are first parasitoids and after having killed the host larva become kleptoparasites.

Chrysids are kleptoparasites of solitary wasps but bees have also been recorded as hosts. If a chrysid parasitizes on bees, it seems likely that it will be a parasitoid, since pollen are a completely different resource than the various insects that solitary wasps provide their larva with. The photos below show a selection of kleptoparasitic chrysids with some of their (possible) hosts.




Chrysid
Hosts
Chrysis bicolor
Authority:Lepeletier, 1806
Deutsch:Zweifarbige Zackengoldwespe
Bentveld, the Netherlands;
2 June 2011.
Tachysphex nitidus
Authority:(Spinola, 1805)
Deutsch:Prächtiger Heuschreckenjäger
Bentveld, the Netherlands;
26 May 2012.
T. pompiliformis
Authority:(Panzer, 1805)
Deutsch:Wegwespen-Heuschreckenjäger
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
30 June 2007.

Chrysis ignita s.l.
Authority:Linnaeus, 1758
Deutsch:Feuer-Zackengoldwespe
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
28 May 2011.

Ancistrocerus spec.
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
9 August 2009.
Symmorphus
cf. bifasciatus
Authority:(Linnaeus, 1761)
Deutsch:Zweibindige Stängelwespe
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
4 September 2010.
Chrysis scutellaris
Authority:Fabricius, 1794
Deutsch:Gefleckte Zackengoldwespe
Miers (Lot), France; 30 July 2012.
Eumenes spec.
Blaricum, the Netherlands;
14 August 2010.

Hedychrium ardens
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
7 July 2007.

Oxybelus bipunctatus
Authority:Olivier, 1812
Deutsch:Zweipunkt-Fliegenspießwespe
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
15 June 2007.
Tachysphex
pompiliformis
Authority:(Panzer, 1805)
Deutsch:Wegwespen-Heuschreckenjäger
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
30 June 2007.
Hedychrum nobile
Authority:(Scopoli, 1763)
Deutsch:Prächtige Sandgoldwespe
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
1 August 2009.
Cerceris arenaria
Authority:(Linné, 1758)
Nederlands:Snuittorrendoder
Deutsch:Sand-Knotenwespe
Drents-Friese Woud,
the Netherlands; 2 August 2008.
Hedychrum rutilans
Authority:Dahlbom, 1854
Deutsch:Bienenwolf-Sandgoldwespe
Blaricum, the Netherlands;
9 July 2007.
Philanthus triangulum
Authority:(Fabricius, 1775)
Nederlands:Bijenwolf
Deutsch:Garten-Bienenwolf
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
15 June 2007.
Holopyga cf. chrysonota
Authority:(Förster, 1853)
Deutsch:Goldrücken-Winkelgoldwespe
Padirac (Lot), France;
28 July 2012.
Tachysphex nitidus
Authority:(Spinola, 1805)
Deutsch:Prächtiger Heuschreckenjäger
A'damse Waterleidingduinen,
the Netherlands; 26 May 2012.
Holopyga generosa
Authority:Förster, 1853
Deutsch:Edel-Winkelgoldwespe
Wellerlooi, the Netherlands;
9 June 2007.
Astata boops
Authority:(Schrank, 1781)
Nederlands:Grote wantsendoder
Deutsch:Großäugiger Bodenwanzenjäger
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
19 June 2007.
Parnopes grandior
Authority:(Pallas, 1771)
Deutsch:Rote Riesengoldwespe
Göksü delta (Mersin),
Turkey; 16 June 2011.
Bembix olivacea
Asmadere (Batman),
Turkey; 14 June 2010.
Bembix oculata
Karadere (Muğla),
Turkey; 11 June 2009.
Trichrysis cyanea
Authority:(Linnaeus, 1758)
Deutsch:Blaugrüne Dreizahngoldwespe
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
11 July 2010.
Trypoxylon spec.
Amstelveen, the Netherlands;
22 May 2009.