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Braconid Wasp 2

I found this gal on a piece of deadwood that I used to make my Bird Lounge. I know this is a “gal” because of the long ovipositor, which you can see in this picture  (although the focus is on her head). I’ve spent the last hour or so identifying her, so let me introduce you to Miss Atanycolus sp., of the Braconidae Family in the Order Hymenoptera. Of course, this is my best guess at ID, but I think I’m pretty close. What caught my eye in the first place were all of the holes that had appeared in the Bird Lounge:

Holes bored by...?

So I’m looking at this–slightly alarmed–and see the cute little wasp I identified above. It appeared to be standing by these holes rather proudly, and so I wondered if this wasp could really be responsible! As I read about Miss Braconid, I learned that she will usually lay her eggs in wood-boring insect larvae. (Ok, decidedly not as cute.) As much as I have come to appreciate insects and spiders, I still get grossed-out at the parasitic activities.

THEN, I saw this:

Who's Boring?

Look at that pile of sawdust! So who’s boring? (Ha!)  I can’t say for sure, because I never saw the culprit come out of the hole. From what I’ve read about Miss Braconid, it might be her – others have witnessed these wasps boring into deadwood. I think it is also possible that some other wood-boring insect is in there, drilling away…only to be parasitized by Miss Braconid. This incident will have to go down as an unsolved mystery!

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