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Photo#440898
Cartoon Bug - Baeus

Cartoon Bug - Baeus
Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
August 12, 2010
Size: <1mm
Cutest bug ever!!! I was taking photos of a pirate spider on my door when I saw this teeny tiny speck wander by. Curious what could be so minuscule, I took pictures of it, too. Usually I get a clue from what I see flash on the LCD screen of my camera at the time, but that was no help, as I was in a hurry and so not really looking long. So it was very much to my surprise when I opened it on the computer monitor and saw THIS.

Too cute! I have no idea where to even start looking for it in the Guide... True Bugs?

Images of this individual: tag all
Cartoon Bug - Baeus Cartoon Bug - Baeus Cartoon Bug - Baeus Cartoon Bug - Baeus

Spider parasite?
http://www.livescience.com/15337-creepy-crawlies-gallery-cutest-bugs.html
I'm working backwards from this article to see if this wasp lives in Washington State. It's a short article on "cute bugs" but it has a nice photo and says Baeus ride on spiders to attack the spider's eggs.

 
Hi Lisa
Yes, it appears one was found in Seattle (according to the "Data" tab above). They seem to be hard to find, though - I check out the bugs at my patio door regularly and have lived in this house for over 7 year, but have only found this one individual. They're so tiny, it's really not surprising - I'm more surprised I actually spotted it.

Yes, the females ride spiders until they encounter eggs, then deposit their own eggs in the spider's egg sac. The young Baeus hatch and prey on the spider eggs.

I took a liking to this cutie and asked around...
Results:
-------------------
From Bolívar Rafael Garcete Barrett: "Hi Mandy. The most I can say for sure is that it is a Scelionidae. Probably Gryon, Baeus or a similar genus. They are egg parasites."
-------------------
From Terry Nuhn: "This is a Baeus, an egg parasite of spiders. They're phoric, riding on the spider until she lays her eggs. Hence the females are wingless. They're now in Platygastridae, in the Scelioninae. Great photos!
-------------------

Bolívar has a masters in entomology from Federal University of Paraná in Brazil.
Terry has a masters in entomology from North Carolina State University.

 
Thank you so much!!
It rides the spider? No wonder it doesn't need wings. Thanks for all the info!

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

 
Is this a wingless male?
And does it have a winged female?

 
I have no idea.
The image I linked to (also a wingless specimen) was identified as a female. Maybe one of the experts will be able to educate us both.

Baeus is correct...
No doubt looking for spider eggs to parasitize. Nice find.

 
Thank you both!
It should find PLENTY around my door.

Something in/near Baeus, I suspect.


Let's see if the experts agree.

 
You're fast!
That sure does look like it, but I'll wait to find out for sure. Thank you!

Oh my gosh...
It's like a little toy! Haha. The head almost looks like some kind of wasp. I really have no clue though, I'll be very interested to see what this turns out to be.

 
Good guess
too wild!

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