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Chrysidid Wasp? - Parnopes edwardsii - female

Chrysidid Wasp? - Parnopes edwardsii - Female
Mount Pinos summit, elev.8,831ft (2692m), Western Transverse Ranges, Ventura County, California, USA
August 2, 2005
Size: ~7mm
A very active insect, and hard to photograph at a moment's rest. Seen flitting from plant to plant, then quickly moving about on the ground, etc.
Here seen on Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus.

Images of this individual: tag all
Chrysidid Wasp? - Parnopes edwardsii - female Chrysidid Wasp? - Parnopes edwardsii

Moved from Parnopes.
Parnopes edwardsii is the only Parnopes species in USA with all abdominal segments completely green or blue, even the posterorateral agles of tergites. It is a female, males have four abdominal segments.

Thanks, Villu,
for the ID!

Looks like a Female. See text & comments here: .

Thanks, Aaron,
for drawing my attention to this. Your photos of the Parnopes are so much better!
I looked at Lynn Kimsey's book last year, but tabled using the key until seeing some more of these. Took me a while to realize that I could download the whole book, thanks to you contributing the link.

Wait a second....
Are you SURE these are all of the same specimen? This image is actually more reminiscent of an Elampinae rather than a Parnopinae. (I always reserve the right to change my mind:-) A little small for Parnopes, too. the middle photo DOES look like Parnopes.

The sequence is: on Eriogonum, then ~5 seconds later (digital imaging gives you a good record) on Chrysothamnus. I believe I followed the same specimen here. Posture might make a difference in appearance.
The specimen on the ground is a different one, taken ~18 minutes later and a few subshrubs beyond the first.
I'll be up there again early next week and will be on the lookout for them to get more information.
By the way, I'm glad you change your mind based on visual input, second thoughts, etc. I'm a sceptic too (member, Skeptics Society).

image should be unlinked
The image of the specimen on the ground should not be linked to the other two, as it is a different individual and possibly a different species or even genus.

This is indeed a cuckoo wasp, genus Parnopes (other image is for certain), probably P. edwardsii. New genus for BugGuide!

confusion here
Which image is the "other image" you're referring to? The image of the individual on the ground is a different specimen, and should not have been linked to this image.

Some plant species can be identified at 60 miles/hour, provided intimate acquaintance. I feel that you, Eric, seem to have absorbed the 'Gestalt' of so many insects that you can just rattle off the names (at times perhaps with the aid of good keys and other reference material).
THANKS, but that still leaves me wondering what is the Parnopes-ness in this insect. What specific character or characters led you to the genus?

For one thing, Parnopes is among the few chrysidids that frequent flowers. Most would rather hang out around aphid colonies for the honeydew. Parnopes is among the most common genera in arid habitats. Lastly, the body is more elongated, with the "tire-like" appearance of the abdomen. Most other cuckoo wasps don't have such exaggerated abdominal segmentation, and the segments are broader and fewer. Parnopes also has a very long "tongue," though that is not obvious here.

Thanks for your comments, Eric. This will help me when going back to Mt. Pinos.
Just read that there are 3000 species of Chrysidids worldwide. Amazing!
For those of you who read French I recommend perusing
This site, though dealing largely with European insect fauna, includes a Hymenoptera section, photos, drawings, behavioral info., etc., and can be useful for identifying North American insects.

I agree with unlinking image #26808 (the Chrysidid on the ground) and notice that it has already been done. Thanks.

I'm betting its parnopes edwa
I'm betting its parnopes edwardsi, the green form, the other form is purple

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