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.

Chalcididae -- a Family of Parasitic Wasps

The wasp shown here 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 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.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 11 June 2017.