Tiny female Braconid Wasps have mastered the art of child rearing thanks to long ovipositors .
Braconid Wasps are tiny wasps that might be mistaken for flies were it not for the alarm colors and the female's long ovipositor. Her needle-like ovipositor looks like a long stinger, but it is not. It is a tube used to deposit eggs. They have black heads and red bodies. Long black wings fold over each other and cover the length of the abdomen when walking. Long legs and antennae are also black.
Braconid Wasps are parasitic to many types of Wood-Boring Beetle larvae as well as caterpillars. Females survey a tree trunk, looking for holes. Many beetle species inject their own eggs into trunks to protect them from surface predators and place them close to the heartwood, a food source for them. The Braconid Wasp female uses her syringe-like ovipositor to poke into deep holes. When she finds a beetle grub at the end of one, she lays a fertilized egg on or inside beetle larva. Later, the newly hatched wasp larva eats the grub from the inside out.
Scientific Name: Atanycolus spp.
Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 4mm to 7mm (0.16in to 0.27in)
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Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees and Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.