Wingless Wonderings

I’m wondering too,


Over the winter I received a box of Nuttall oak acorns from Mississippi, containing cynipid wasp galls.  Over the past couple of days, several of these tiny (~1.5 mm) wasps have emerged:

The wings aren’t deformed; all of the wasps have dinky little wings like this, and they jump around rather than flying.  There are lots of adult wasps and other insects that have reduced wings or are missing them entirely, but this is only the second example I’ve seen in a chalcid wasp–the first being the Trichogramma alderfly egg parasitoids shown here (incidentally, I just updated that page with some corrections and new information provided by a Trichogrammatidae specialist, including the fact that both the winged and wingless individuals I photographed are females).  I suspected these were eulophids, and when I posted a couple of other photos of them on BugGuide, Ross Hill agreed, saying “The literature does…

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Author: Mick Talbot

Besotted with nature in all its wondrous formats.

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