Ichneumonid Wasp – “spiders beware!”

I was really pleased to get this shot of this particular  species of Parasitical Wasp Polysphincta tuberosa (Ichneumonidae:Pimplinae) which can be seen, here,  resting on a borage  plant on my balcony.According to http://chrisraper.org.uk  ” The adult wasp lays a single egg on the front of a spider’s abdomen – the host is often the common white & yellow/green spider Araniella cucurbitina. The position of the egg makes it impossible for the spider to remove it using its legs or mandibles and makes rubbing it off very difficult. When the egg hatches the larva stays in the same position and pierces the host’s skin to drink its body fluids. In its first weeks the larva remains quite small (<=2mm) but this is because it is ticking over, waiting for the host to get big enough. Once it senses the host is the right size it will suck the spider dry over night and grow to 5-6mm in length! The larva then spins a silk cocoon and pupates – the adult hatching after a couple of weeks.”

*Many thanks, also, to the brilliant I SPOT website who’s expert members helped me to identify this insect (along with countless others). Its a free service and one  I would definitely recommend you check out if you’re interested in getting expert help in identifying those creatures and plants  which you might encounter in green spaces near you.

Advertisements