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The plot thickens 5/31/08 - Diplazon laetatorius - female

The plot thickens 5/31/08 - Diplazon laetatorius - Female
Churchville Nature Center, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA
May 31, 2008
Size: 7-8 mm.
I couldn't understand why some of the pupae looked so different. One became translucent and a fly emerged from it. 5/28/08
The other two had a rich, dark color. 5/29/08

Now this slender little wasp emerged from the second pupa.
Read all the story HERE

Images of this individual: tag all
The plot thickens 5/31/08 - Diplazon laetatorius - female The plot thickens - Diplazon laetatorius - female The plot thickens 5/31/08 - Diplazon laetatorius - female

Moved from Diplazontinae.

Moved from Gelinae.
Thanks; it makes sense, they are parasites of Syrphidae.

Not Gelinae. There is actually no wing areolet in this image, and the short ovipositor also excludes this subfamily. I've actually been waiting for a nice image of one of these diplazontid wasps, and we finally have one. This fits the description for this female with red and black coloration, short ovipositor, distinctive leg patterning and wing stigma, and the first abdominal segment being wide at the base and only slightly wider at the apex. They are exclusive syrphid parasitoids - the adults always emerging from the fly pupa. Excellent find.

See reference here.

Moved from Ichneumoninae.

Ichneumon Wasp (female)
A fairly small, but colorful and (from my own perspective) really pretty member of the subfamily Ichneumoninae. I think maggots of the Syrphid host are parasitized at an early stage, but development of the parasite is delayed until pupal stage.

I thought that it could be an Ichneumonid. A rather perverse parasite, don't you think? It must be a fairly common strategy: Lay its egg in a small, manageable maggot and then let the host grow and supply plenty of food and a good shelter.
Are these wasps related to the ones that parasitize aphids? Could they have switched hosts?
I think that it is very beautiful, too.
According to Discover life, all members of Ichneumoniane are parasites of Lepidoptera. Could it be a different subfamily?

Most Aphid primary parasitoids...
Are members of the subfamily Aphidiinae of the Braconid Wasps. I think most Ichneumonidae who parasitize Diptera have switched from caterpillars.
As for the subfamily, I think Discover life is right, and I was wrong, Actually, I've been misled by the short ovipositor sheaths of this female. But by making a close-up of your pics, I saw the spiracles of T1 are too far from apical margin to be those of an Ichneumoninae. Therefore, this must be a member of the Gelinae (formerly Cryptinae) instead. Forewing venation is alike in both groups, with a five-sided areola (modified 2nd submarginal cell).
This would be more logical, since many Gelinae parasitize Diptera or Hymenoptera.

I've been following this story,
and I wondered if it would end something like this. See .

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