Chalcid Wasp

January 25th, 2012 - 7:11 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

5mm long | July 12, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

This is the first time I can recall encountering one of these wasps in the field. Chalcid wasps are easily recognized by their enlarged hind femora.

If you missed the one that emerged from a chrysalis I collected, check out this earlier post.

Chrysalis Surprise

July 14th, 2011 - 11:29 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

10mm | July 4, 2011 | Tupaciguara, Minas Gerais, Brazil

I collected this little chrysalis while I was in the field the day before I took this photo. I didn’t think I’d be able to get a good photo at the time, and I was curious to see what might emerge. Strangely, looking at this with my own eye, it appears opaque with a silvery and gold surface. With the camera and flash, it appears as above, somewhat transparent and showing what looks like a wing inside. I figured it would only be a short time to see the butterfly that might emerge. Well, I was half right.

About a week later, I found this in the rearing container.

10mm long

Side view

With those enlarged hind femora this must be something in the superfamily Chalcidoidea, perhaps in the family Chalcididae. The natural history fits, since Chalcidids are parasites of Lepidoptera and Diptera pupae.

Here’s what’s left of the chrysalis.

Chrysalis showing where parasitoid emerged