Thrips Shop for Wasps

OK Kids, listen up. What you’re looking at here are a couple of tiny thrips which were parasitised by tiny wasps. WHAAAAAAT? That’s right, these thrips were injected with wasp eggs and it’s turned them into little puparium for wasps. The one on the right is fully developed and about to hatch, the one on…

Psyllid Puparium

I’ve posted about Lerps and Psyllids before but this time I’ve gone the extra mile, dear reader. When I found this fantastic basket lerp in the shape of a shell, I could hardly contain my excitement but I soon noticed the nymph inside seemed to be a bit odd. Turns out it had been the…

Inside a Rattle Ant Nest

Rattle Ants (Polyrhachis sp.) are big black and shiny tree ants. They look like your best pair of highly polished patent leather shoes. Only ant shaped and a lot smaller and not really shoe-like at all and a bit more shiny. They build messy nests made up of mushed up bark and leaves and silk. The…

Ants: Rhytidiponera

According to antweb.org there are over 100 species of Rhytidiponera ants in Australia but the most well known is the Green-headed Ant – Rhytidiponera metallica. These ants have terrorised children across the country, surely for as long as there have been people here, and adults are not immune to their painful stings. But they are more than…

White-footed Ants: Technomyrmex

These ants are extremely common and have colonised most of the world using uncommon habits. Unlike most other ants, up to half of the colony will be fertile females called Intercastes. An established colony will produce winged males and females once a year in spring but after a new colony is established, the queen will…

Wasps & Galls

Galls are fascinating for me and I see quite a lot of them on Acacia trees. They never disappoint and usually have something interesting to see on them – even if it’s only a colony of Technomyrmex ants using a dead gall as a camp site. Most times though I can find beautiful little wasps like…

Abispa Mud Wasp

Abispa sp. mud wasps can look scary (this one is quite large at 25-30mm) but all she wants to do is collect caterpillars to provide food for her offspring. Here she has flown around a tree infested with leaf-rolling caterpillars until she spots a suitable candidate for extraction. She cuts a hole in its leaf, extracts…

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

We Love Wasps

Wasps have a bad reputation but play an important role in controlling populations of other insects. Wasps feed on things like caterpillars or spiders while others may only take nectar from flowers which also makes them important pollinators. Most wasps are parasites of plants, animals or other insects (even other wasps) and some are so…