What an excellently captured example of hyperparasitism! A Fascinating case of Russian nesting dolls.
Acroclisoides wasps are tiny insects that parasitise wasps that parasitise bugs. That’s right. Somehow, these wasps find a clutch of bug eggs (which are really small to start with) that have already been parasitised by a wasp and manage to get their little babies into those wasp larvae.
Acroclisoides wasp (3mm long, max) investigates which of these bug eggs are most viable for her own egg deposit. She spent quite a lot of time wandering around ‘feeling’ with her antennae trying to work out where to lay her eggs. Mount Ommaney, QLD.
Even while I was shooting this wasp I had no idea of how beautiful she was. She’s a metallic gold and was very busy populating these bug eggs with her offspring. In this shot you can just see her starting to pierce the bug egg with her ovipositor. Mount Ommaney, QLD.
A shot from above while she is ovipositing. Her head…
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