Gasteruption jaculator, a cleptoparasitic wasp, visits my wildlife garden

July 20, 2016

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Gardening For Wildlife, Red mason solitary bees, Solitary Bee Observation Box

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.

One of many cleptoparasitic wasps visiting my garden

One of many cleptoparasitic wasps visiting my garden checking out holes used by solitary wasps

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.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Plant June 16, 2017 at 10:17 pm

I spotted a female and got lots of photo’s in my garden this afternoon, I drilled various sized holes into an old post and placed where I had seen one of these ladies checking out other wood for possible nest holes. In this case she checked out all suitable sized holes. when she finally chose one she tilted the white tipped ‘ovipositor sheath’ over her abdomen and head, the actual ovipositor can be seen in one of my photo’s and is red.
As she was emerging the host returned and had a go at her, the host was a yellow faced bee. having exited the nest hole she loitered and again was attacked by the host, she then hovered close by seemingly observing to see if the host would still use the nest hole, which she did.


nurturingnature June 18, 2017 at 8:20 am

Nice one Steve, if you like send me some photos and I will add and credit you with them if used. Thanks for sharing, George


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