×
BugFinder Insects by State Spiders Butterflies & Moths Bees, Ants, & Wasps Beetles All Bugs Videos (YouTube)

Hyperparasitic Wasp (Taeniogonalos gundlachii)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Hyperparasitic Wasp.




If what is said about the enemy of my enemy being a friend is true, then this type of wasp should be welcome inside most insects.



 Updated: 8/17/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




A tiny insect, this species of wasp is an example of a hyperparasitic wasp. This means it is a parasite of the parasites on an insect. There are species of wasp that lay eggs on caterpillars, and these wasp larvae feed on the insides of the caterpillar once they hatch, making them parasites. A hyperparasitic wasp does not feed on the caterpillar; it feeds on the other types of wasps that do. In order to do that, these tiny wasp eggs are consumed by the caterpillar, which blindly chews through the leaf they are laid on. This strategy brings the hyperparasites in close contact with their own food source. All of this hatching and feasting occurs inside the caterpillar, so it is unlikely to survive even if the hyperparasite consumes the parasites before they can pupate. If the caterpillar does not have parasites inside them to eat, the hyperparasitic larvae die.

While hyperparasitic wasps can be beneficial in controlling unwanted parasitic wasp populations, there are situations where a parasitic wasp needs protection from them. When a caterpillar is destroying crops or other plants, introducing parasitic wasps to the area makes them a useful tool in managing caterpillar populations. Introducing hyperparasitic wasps limits the efficacy of the management program.

Hyperparasitic wasps are much smaller than ordinary wasps. They are often black with yellow bands and markings. Because they are small and fast, catching sight of a hyperparasitic wasp is a rare event, which seems fitting for an insect with such an uncommon life history.


General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect antennae icon
Flying insect icon
Rounded insect body icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Trigonalidae [ View More ]
          Genus: Taeniogonalos [ View More ]
            Species: gundlachii
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Descriptors
Scientific Name: Taeniogonalos gundlachii
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 8mm (0.23in to 0.31in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow
Descriptors: small; smoky wings; long antennae; yellow feet; curled abdomen; yellow around eyes; flying
Relative Size Comparison
Lo: 6mm | Hi: 8mm
Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.
Territorial Map
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of both a bee and an ant insect
1
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
2
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
3
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
5
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees, & Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.