Gasteruption jaculator solitary wasp checks out my nest boxes
This is a presumed Gasteruption jaculator solitary wasp. What a great name, I wonder what it is based upon? Its another new species I have noticed in the garden since I had my boring lawn ripped out and a wildflower meadow planted to replace it! More on this soon.
A cleptoparasitic wasp that has a most awkward looking long, white tipped ovipositor trailing behind it. It will use to bore into its chosen host cell and lay its egg inside a host solitary bee or solitary wasp. The larva will hatch out, destroy the host egg and consume the food store inside the cell. This I find a little confusing as many solitary bees store necter and pollen, whereas solitary wasps themselves hunt for various prey items which they paralyse for their larvae to feast upon. If this is the case, Gasteruption larvae must have a broad diet! Some species of parasitoid wasps use vibrational soundings, a form of echo location to find their hosts.