My beautiful little Chrysis

Chrysis is a genus of cuckoo wasps (see cleptoparasitism, also this adorable cuckoo bee) in the family Chrysididae.  They are associated with solitary bees and wasps, the nests of which they seek out to lay their eggs in.  The Chrysis larvae hatch and eat the provisions left by the maker of the nest, and then, to add insult to injury, they usually also devour the developing egg or larvae.  Nonetheless, these cosmopolitan cuckoos are undeniably lovely: iridescent green, blue, and even red.

A cuckoo wasp of the genus Chrysis

A cuckoo wasp of the genus Chrysis; this guy is just minute (maybe 3 or 4 mm).  You can see the wood grain for comparison.

When scared, these guys roll up into a ball, just like an armadillo.  Cute!  And there is actually a scientific name for this: conglobation.  They are also very hard to photograph (personal experience) because they hardly ever sit still.  Mostly, they are doing a scurrying seeking behaviour while looking for a host nest.

And what a beautiful Chrysis to have!

And what a beautiful Chrysis to have!

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