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Chrysididae

These solitary wasps are often called cuckoo, or ruby-tailed, wasps. They have a heavily armoured, brightly coloured cuticle. The apical gastral segments have been modified to form a thin, tubular structure that can be telescoped into the hind end of the gaster. In the female this tubular structure has been secondarily modified to act as an ovipositor. They have a parasitoid life history.

Chrysidinae

Small to medium-sized wasps. Cuticle brightly metallic-coloured, which may be purple, blue, green and red. There are three visible gastral segments. Their hosts belong to the vespid subfamily Eumeninae and Apoid family Crabronidae. The hosts nest in the ground, in cavities in wood and in mud cells attached to a firm structure such as a wall. The female enters the host's nest and lays an egg in each available cell. On hatching, the larva usually eats the egg or young larva of the host, before the food store (cleptoparasitic life history). In some species the larva feeds only on the larva of the host and eventually kills it (parasitoid life history). Adults can adopt a rolled-up defensive posture when threatened. Nationally: 4 genera with c.18 species.

Cleptinae

Small brightly coloured wasps. The female has four visible gastral segments and the male five visible segments. The female searches for the cocooned prepupa or pupa of a tenthredinid sawfly. On finding a host cocoon the female bites a small hole in the wall. She then inserts her ovipositor and lays a single egg on the prepupa or pupa. The hole is sealed with mucilage and the larva, on hatching, feeds on the host. Nationally: 1 genus with 2 species.

Elampinae

Hosts include Crabronid and Eumenine wasps. Nationally: 7 genera with 13 species.