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Spectacular spider-killer-killing wasp

 
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17390
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:16 am    Post subject: Spectacular spider-killer-killing wasp Reply with quote

This is without a doubt the most spectacular wasp I have ever photographed.



A couple of stereo pairs:





Through an unhappy accident I know a little of this insect's life history.

Late last summer some friends found a mud-dauber nest just outside their front door. They asked me to remove it. I did so, intending to keep it intact. But the removal did not go perfectly. In the process, the nest broke. Several spider carcasses spilled out. But several of the chambers stayed intact, containing what looked like undamaged wasp pupae. I placed the nest in a jar in a sheltered place and checked on it daily. For months. And more months. And more months. Nothing happened. Then a few days ago I got distracted by some construction around my house. And wouldn't you know -- that was when the wasps decided to emerge. Dang! They were dead when I checked again, and just starting to mold. Sad

But I was able to clean this one OK, for the most part. The rear eye is white because it is full of mold. I'm pretty sure the rest of the appearance is intact because (hallelujah!) a live specimen of what must be the same species turned up in my kitchen window today, sniffing around the corners where the spiders hang out.

The surface texture of these wasps is fascinating. I usually think of bugs as being covered with bumps. But in this case, it's clearly craters -- little hemispherical depressions.

Does anybody know the ID of this thing??

--Rik

Technical: Canon 300D camera, Olympus 38 mm f/2.8 bellows lens at f/2.8, 173 frames at 0.001" focus step. Dual fiber halogen illuminator, pingpong ball diffuser, ISO 100 @ 1/6 second.

Edit: to fix title per ID provided by others.


Last edited by rjlittlefield on Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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AndrewC



Joined: 14 Feb 2008
Posts: 1436
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a Chrysidae of some kind isn't it ?

Andrew
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AndrewC wrote:
It's a Chrysidae of some kind isn't it ?

Andrew


This is a link I posted in the FAQs:

http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/foltz/eny3005/lab1/Hymenoptera/Chrysidid.htm

And one of its links:

http://www.chrysis.net/index_en.php

Harold
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AndrewC



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Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Streuth, I was right Smile !!!!!
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Planapo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1533
Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik, Yes, this looks like a chrysidid wasp.

Chrysididae are parasites of bees and wasps, mostly. So I would assume that the mud-dauber wasp nest you collected, had been parasitized and you've reared this parasite.

--Betty
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating! I have changed the title on the topic to match this ID. Thanks for the information, everyone.

--Rik
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Jody Melanson



Joined: 10 Aug 2006
Posts: 130
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice Rik. Great depth in the stereo.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17390
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jody Melanson wrote:
Very nice Rik. Great depth in the stereo.

Thanks, Jody. I thought it came out pretty well.

What's probably most interesting is that the stereo pairs are made from just one stack(!), using the depth information implied by the sequence of focus slices.

It's a new feature of Zerene Stacker, described HERE.

--Rik
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