Cuckoo wasp are a group of parasitoid wasps that are known for their unusual behaviour. Unlike most wasps, which build nests and provide food for their young, cuckoo wasps lay their eggs in the nests of other insects, such as bees and wasps. The cuckoo wasp larvae then feed on the food preserved for the host young, often killing the host’s offspring in the process.
- Cuckoo wasps are typically small and slender insects, with long, slender bodies and long legs.
- They are usually between 1/2 inch and 1 inch in length, and their bodies are often brightly coloured.
- The colours can range from metallic green, blue, or bronze, to black and yellow, depending on the species.
- Their bodies are usually elongated and slender, and they have long, thin legs that are used to climb and cling to the nests of their host insects.
- They have two pairs of wings that are typically transparent or translucent, with distinctive veins that help to support their delicate wings.
- Some species have wings that are brightly coloured, while others are more subdued in appearance.
- Cuckoo wasps have large, distinctive eyes that are usually coloured black or brown.
- They have short antennae that are used to sense their environment.
- They have slender waists, and their abdomen is usually narrow and tapered.
- They have a sharp sting that is used to subdue their host insects, and they are capable of delivering a painful sting to humans if they feel threatened.
- The adult female cuckoo wasp lays her eggs in the nests of other insects, such as bees or wasps. She may lay several eggs in a single nest, or she may lay eggs in multiple nests.
- The cuckoo wasp eggs hatch into larvae, which then feed on the food provisioned for the host’s young. They grow and molt several times, eventually reaching maturity.
- When the larvae have grown enough, they spin a cocoon or pupate within the host’s nest. During this stage, they undergo metamorphosis and transform into adult wasps.
- The adult cuckoo wasps emerge from their pupal cases and leave the host’s nest. They mate and lay eggs, starting the cycle again.
- Cuckoo wasps lay their eggs in the nests of other insects, such as bees and wasps.
- Unlike most wasps, which build nests and provide food for their young, cuckoo wasps do not construct nests of their own. Instead, they lay their eggs in the nests of other insects.
- Cuckoo wasps feed on nectar and other sweet substances, but they do not provide food for their own new wasps. Instead, they rely on the food stored in the nests of their host insects.
- Cuckoo wasps are known for their distinctive, loud calls, which are used to attract mates or defend territory.