Hyperparasite: Acroclisoides sp.

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.

Hyperparasitic Wasp
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.
Hyperparasitic Wasp
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.
Hyperparasitic Wasp
A shot from above while she is ovipositing. Her head is quite large in proportion to her body and I wonder how much her eyes contribute to her search for viable eggs – apart from the initial search effort of finding the eggs, can she see with her eyes or just her antennae which bug eggs are parasitised? Mount Ommaney, QLD.

See more wasp photos at www.aussiebugs.com.au/Hymenoptera/Wasps/

2 Comments Add yours

  1. ozarkbill says:

    Reblogged this on A Thousand Acres of Silphiums and commented:
    What an excellently captured example of hyperparasitism! Fascinating!


    1. Deb says:

      Thanks Ozarkbill!


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