Friday, 7 June 2013

Home Patch: Ruby-tailed Wasp

It is always interesting to see new things in the garden. I have been watching my Ladybird house, and while - alas - I have not seen any Ladybirds, I have noticed some flying insects who keep alighting on the wooden post, just below the house. More often than not, these insects have invariably flapped their wings and flown off in the time it has taken me to adjust the zoom on my camera. I am wondering whether at least one of them, a cuckoo wasp, is linked to another insect's nest in the Ladybird house.

Yesterday, however, I saw an insect (no photo, I'm afraid from that sighting, despite an attempt) of an insect I recognised instantly from a visit to Minsmere last August ... a Ruby-tailed Wasp. These insects with their metallic rose-red abdomens and their emerald green head and thorax have been described as  'perhaps one of the most beautiful British insects'. The photos I tried to take at Minsmere last year have been re-posted below, underneath my recent pictures.  

The insect in the photos immediately above and below was sighted this morning. It shone with iridescence, but the areas of colour were not defined, unlike those of the Ruby-tailed Wasps I have seen.

The insect below also visited the same post below the Ladybird house this morning. I would guess that a creature with those white markings would be relatively easy to identify ... but an ID has eluded me thus far. I have found somewhat similar-looking insects on websites from the USA ('black and white' wasps etc.), but nothing from the UK.

Later: taking a second look, I just wonder whether the four white 'moons' could simply be reflections due to the iridescent nature of the elytra. What do you think?
If you can help with identification, do leave a comment or email me (email on Profile page). All these insects have wings, and when they land, they don't stay still for long!

You can read my previous post about the Ruby-tailed Wasp here ... and the identification help I received from 'What's that Bug?', which is here.

Ruby-tailed Wasp


Em Parkinson said...

I'm not much use to you I'm afraid! Trawling through your blog list, I couldn't see Margarethe Brummermann's blog which I was convinced I found through you but maybe not! I think you'd like it if you haven't already been there....a bit too technical for me sometimes but amazing stuff: I love the ladybird house even if they don't yet!

Mary said...

They are all interesting, but I'm not good at insects. I always have to ask what I'm seeing.