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  • Cuckoo Wasp - (Chrysis spp.)

    Cuckoo Wasp - (Chrysis spp.)

    The bright, metallic shades of Cuckoo Wasps make them easy to spot despite their small size.

    Staff Writer (8/3/2016): Cuckoo Wasps get their name thanks to their parenting technique. Similar to the Cuckoo bird, whose females lay eggs in another bird's nest, leaving them to be raised by that species, Cuckoo Wasps lay their eggs in the nests of other bees. When the Cuckoo Wasp larva hatches, it eats the other bee larva and then begins to consume the rest of the food left in the nest. Thanks to this behavior, it is a parasite to a variety of other bee and wasp species. Even the eggs of Walkingsticks are not off limits to some larvae.

    Adults drink flower nectar and have very small stingers. They tend to curl up when threatened if they are unable to escape. They are active during the summer and can be found in a wide variety of habitats and natural areas.

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    Details of the:
    Cuckoo Wasp

    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: Cuckoo Wasp
    Scientific Name: Chrysis spp.
    Other Names: Gold Wasps

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Acari
          Family: Chrysididae
           Genus: Chrysis
            Species: spp.

    Size (Adult, Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.20in to 0.31in)

    Identifying Colors: green, black, blue, gold, red

    Additional Descriptors: flying, stinging, metallic, gold, emerald, bumpy, shiny, bee

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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