Chalcid Wasp

Acanthochalcis (?)

Chalcidae photo © by Mike Plagens

Aguila, Maricopa County, Arizona. Emerged 21 May 2017 from dead ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) found on 26 March 2017. Length about 7 mm. Male above, female below.

Chalcidae photo © by Mike Plagens

Chalcididae -- a Family of Parasitic Wasps

The wasp shown at top left is a male and like all male wasps it lacks any sort of sting. It is also very small, less than 7 mm, and so even the females (bottom photo) are not capable of stinging a person. This one probably was a parasite of a beetle larva that had been tunneling inside the dead branch of the desert shrub, ocotillo. Some adult buprestid beetles, Chrysobothris edwardsii, emerged from the same dead branches. The adults may also be encountered on flowers. There are many species and separating them requires considerable expertise.


Fouquieria splendens


Ocotillo Borer

Chrysobothris edwardsii

Chrysobothris © by Mike Plagens

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 11 June 2017,
updated 29 July 2017.