Aspicera hartigi

close up of image

Detailed Description

This is picture 4 from a 12 picture invited series by Matt Buffington (matt.buffington@usda.gov) at the USDA Parastitic Hymentoptera group using specimens from the U.S. Natural History Museum Smithsonian. Matt uses a system very similar to ours to photograph and stack this super tiny wasp.Aspicera hartigi is a remarkable parasitic wasp! Females lay eggs into aphid-predaceous syrphid larvae (hover flies). Well, syrphid larvae don't like to be parasitized, as it puts a cramp in their style! Syrphids try to fight off Aspicra, but Aspicera is just too fast, using a quick-strike oviposition behavior to lay an egg in the syrphid larvae before it can defend itself. Aphids everywhere can thank Aspicera for saving their lives!

Details

Image Dimensions: 5472 x 3648

Date Taken: