Cuckoo Wasp Facts
- Cuckoo Wasp serves as the common name for any member of a rather extensive group of parasitic wasps. Also, more than 3,000 species exist within this group. Most of the varieties possess brilliantly colored bodies, with metallic sheens. Therefore, many individuals refer to them as metallic wasps.
- The common name of these amazing invertebrates derives from the unusual behavior displayed when laying eggs. These the female typically lays within the nests of other species, which then act as unwitting hosts. This unusual behavior bears the name of kleptoparasitism.
Cuckoo Wasp Physical Description
Given the fact that Cuckoo Wasp collectively refers to an extensive group of species, physical appearance between them varies rather widely. However, certain basic physical patterns do exist.
The great majority of the members of this group rarely exceed 0.5 in (1.2 cm) in length. The coloring also varies slightly among varieties, but most commonly includes metallic shades of green or blue, with red or pink appearing occasionally.
The abdomen remains quite flexible, allowing the creature to curl into a tight ball as a means of defense. The pitted exoskeleton provides it protection from most attackers.
Cuckoo Wasp Distribution, Ecology, and Behavior
The various types of Cuckoo Wasp also live throughout a large range and inhabit nearly all warm regions of the world. Yet, the majority inhabits desert regions. Some varieties, however, do prefer subtropical or Mediterranean climates.
All known varieties live solitary lives, and nearly all feed as external parasites. Prey typically consists of the larvae of larger bees or wasps. Yet a handful of species also visit flowers for additional sustenance.