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Longicorn beetle larvae, watch out!

October 28, 2013

DSCN3488This colourful critter is a wasp from the Braconid family, more specifically a White Flank Black Braconid Wasp (Callibracon capitator).

Braconid wasps are black, white, orange and red. They are shiny to look at but are covered in pale hair. The female is distinguished by a large ovipositor (the long ‘sting-looking’ part at the tail). Generally regarded as the gardeners’ friend, braconid larvae parasitise the larvae of other insects — moths, flies, sawflies and beetles. The female wasp uses the ovipositor to lay eggs just under the skin of the food host. The wasp larvae hatch and feed on the living host, eventually breaking through the surface of the skin and spinning cocoons. The host, still alive, will carry the cocoons around until the adult wasps emerge. Then the host dies.

And if you want to see what the preferred food of this wasp is click HERE to view.

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