05 March 2014

Xanthocryptus novozealandicus: the lemon tree borer parasite

As the common name suggests, this beautiful ichneumonid wasp parasites larvae of the lemon tree borer (a native longhorn beetle) as well as other wood-boring beetle larvae. This individual's lack of an ovipositor (a long, thin structure that looks like a sting) identifies it as a male and therefore of no direct threat to beetle larvae. He cooperated nicely for this photograph, staying mostly motionless while I worked hard to get a well-focused photograph (a gusty wind made photographing difficult). Usually they're flying constantly, alighting only for a few seconds.

[4 February 2014, Olympus OM-D EM-1, 60mm f2.8 macro , ISO 200, 1/250 at f3.5]

All content © 2014 Pete McGregor

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