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Photo#377298
Red chalcid, parasitoid of antlion larvae - Hockeria eriensis - female

Red chalcid, parasitoid of antlion larvae - Hockeria eriensis - Female
Webb Canyon, ~2000 ft. elevation, Los Angeles County, California, USA
July 5, 2009
Size: ~ 3.5 mm
When I saw Dennis Haines' post of Hockeria eriensis it immediately made me think of this truly wonderful chalcid that I photographed last summer. Of all the insects that I have rescued from my landlord's pool, this is definitely one of my favorites! I took a really embarrassing number of photos of this little one and I couldn't quite decide which to post here. Although I have some much better images (which I will probably post later), I initially chose these two photos because they most closely duplicate the views Dennis has provided with his mounted specimen. I think they look like a pretty good match, but I'm eager to get expert confirmation. Please let me know if additional angles of anatomical features are needed!

Surrounding habitat is chaparral and mixed oak woodland.

Images of this individual: tag all
Red chalcid, parasitoid of antlion larvae - Hockeria eriensis - female Red chalcid, parasitoid of antlion larvae - Hockeria eriensis - female

Moved
Moved from Chalcid Wasps.

A female Hockeria eriensis (Wallace, 1942)
Not only is it a neat little chalcid, with its humped scutellum and bright red-orange color, but it has interesting biology. It is a parasitoid of antlion larvae in the genus Myrmeleon. The adult emerges from the antlion cocoon. The adults can be found nectaring at flowers.

 
Splendid!
Thanks for confirming my suspicions, Dennis. I had read the comments on your post discussing its fascinating life cycle. I have certainly observed an active enough co-population of antlions in the immediate area, though I have not been able to ascertain an ID for any of them yet. Many of them look very much like this individual I posted quite some time ago, but I have no idea if they might be genus Myrmeleon. Thus far, no CA specimens on BugGuide have been identified as being of that genus, so I don't really have anything to compare to either...

In any event, I will definitely post additional higher-quality images of this gorgeous red chalcid and it is very gratifying to finally put a name to it! Oh, and BTW, I just realized that you are now (finally!) an editor. My sincere congratulations, Dennis. It's great to have your help.

 
Vassili twisted my arm! LOL
Vassili twisted my arm! LOL

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