Tuesday 20 July 2010

Ruby-tailed wasp (Chrysis ignita) and Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia)

This is a very beautiful Ruby-tailed wasp that really does have a metallic green head and thorax with a metallic red abdomen - all of which flash in the sunshine.  Although the adults eat pollen and nectar, they lay their eggs on the larvae of the burrow-dwelling Red mason bee - which then eat their hosts alive.  Not very nice

Earwigs are, extremely buggy bugs - this is a view of the underside, or ventral surface as it is called, of one.  Earwigs are very good mothers - not only do they look after their eggs once they have laid them, they look after the baby earwigs once they have hatched - looking like tiny versions of the adults.  Earwigs eat pretty much everything - they are omnivorous, which probably explains why you can find them pretty much everywhere!!

These were just some of the great creatures we caught during the Bug hunt today


  1. There appears to be just one previous record of the ruby-tailed wasp on Islay, interestingly also from Port Charlotte, back in 1986. Doesn't mean to say it isn't common and widespread, just that no-one's bothered to note it!


    1. We found a ruby-tailed wasp up by Bolsa on the Rhuvaal side.... this was around 2 years ago.... more widespread than most would think!

  2. One of the consequent benefits of the blog seems to be that it is encouraging us to not only look things up - but also to write things down!! I am sure that this wasp is quite common here, as you suspect, but simply under-recorded. Very like my earlier record of Water crickets - although I have checked the little pond several times since and they have now disappeared...