cuckoo wasp

(Subfamily Chrysidinae)

Overview
cuckoo_wasp_(Elampus_sp)
Photo by Alfredo Colon
 

Chrysidinae is a large subfamily of cuckoo wasps. It is by far the largest subfamily of cuckoo wasps, and it contains the most widely recognized species. There are about 3,000 species in 48 genera in 4 tribes worldwide, and at least 33 species in Minnesota.

Female cuckoo wasps lay their eggs in the nests of bees, potter wasps, and wasps in the family Crabonidae. When those eggs hatch the larvae eat the eggs or young larvae of the host and then consume the provisions left in the nest.

Cuckoo wasps cannot sting. When threatened, they will roll themselves into a ball, protecting their legs and other appendages.

 
           
 
Description
 
 

Wasps in the subfamily Chrysidinae have metallic blue or green bodies that are densely and coarsely sculptured (covered with many tiny pits). On most species the rear part of the body has just three segments. Only males in the tribe Parnopini have four segments. The underside of the body is flat or concave, so that it is not usually visible when the wasp is viewed from the side.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  10/19/2021      
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)  
 

Suborder

Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)  
 

Infraorder

Aculeata (ants, bees and stinging wasps)  
 

Superfamily

Chrysidoidea (cuckoo wasps and allies)  
 

Family

Chrysididae (cuckoo wasps)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Tribe Allocoelini

Tribe Chrysidini

Tribe Elampini

Tribe Parnopini

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

This subfamily has no common name. The common name for the family Chrysididae is cuckoo wasps, and is applied here for convenience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Mike Poeppe

 
 

Found this one west of Houston today. Not the best but it moves fast!

 
    cuckoo wasp (Subfamily Chrysidinae)   cuckoo wasp (Subfamily Chrysidinae)  
           
    cuckoo wasp (Subfamily Chrysidinae)      
 

Dan W. Andree

 
 

I believe these are Cuckoo Wasps...

They were on a flowering shrub like tree. Not sure but think it is possibly a wild cranberry tree or bush. I took photos of the blossoms and some leaves and will look it up as I had noticed red berries on them late fall one year. June 10, 2019 on a trail near Twin Valley, Mn. in Norman County.

  cuckoo wasp (Subfamily Chrysidinae)  
        cuckoo wasp (Subfamily Chrysidinae)  
           
 
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  Mike Poeppe
10/17/2021

Location: Houston County, MN

Found this one west of Houston today. Not the best but it moves fast!

cuckoo wasp (Subfamily Chrysidinae)

 
  Dan W. Andree
6/10/2019

Location: on a trail near Twin Valley, Mn. in Norman County

They were on a flowering shrub like tree. Not sure but think it is possibly a wild cranberry tree or bush. I took photos of the blossoms and some leaves and will look it up as I had noticed red berries on them late fall one year. June 10, 2019 on a trail near Twin Valley, Mn. in Norman county.

cuckoo wasp (Subfamily Chrysidinae)

 
           
 
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Created: 12/30/2018

Last Updated:

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