Monday Night Mystery

Ok, so we all know this is a wasp.  But what’s with the lumps near the tip of the abdomen?

Ten points for identifying the lump, and five points for anyone ambitious enough to put a name on the wasp, too.


  1. #1 Joshua King
    March 15, 2010

    Strepsiptera on a crabrioninae? Just a quick guess.

  2. #2 Invictacidal
    March 15, 2010

    I too think they are Streps.

  3. #3 Gordon Snelling
    March 15, 2010

    Nuts they beat me to it, I too think streps.

  4. #4 Scot Waring
    March 16, 2010

    Female strep.

  5. #5 Ted C. MacRae
    March 16, 2010

    Late to the party again. I agree with female stylopid, but I think the wasp is a true sphecid – maybe Isodontia?

  6. #6 Chris
    March 16, 2010

    Looks like Isodontia mexicana!

  7. #7 Bob O'H
    March 16, 2010

    But what about those lumps…?

  8. #8 tuckerlancaster
    March 16, 2010

    Maybe the bumps are the eggs of another species and the wasp has been parasitized?

  9. #9 Joshua King
    March 16, 2010

    Let’s try again:

    Sphecid: Isodontia auripes

    Strepsiptera: Paraxenos auripedis

  10. #10 jan
    March 16, 2010

    man, what a picture…

  11. #11 macromite
    March 16, 2010

    According to my sources, Josh King is close, but auripes should have yellow legs, so Isodontia mexicana seems like a better guess.

    No streps listed for mexicana, but it looks like a male pupa.

  12. #12 Cazakatari
    March 16, 2010

    The lumps have to be strepsiptera, that’s about all I know though

  13. #13 David Hughes
    March 18, 2010

    Hi guys,

    It is a pupal strespipteran and it is a male. The female has an extruded cephalothorax which is dorso-ventrally compressed and very diffciult to see. Requires a hand lens mostly.

    The pupa of the male has a line of weakness so when ready the top breaks off and the male emerges for his short (5 hour) non-feeding live. The male mates with the female through the head and sperm goes into her body to fertilise her egss (no ovaries). And the best part…the live young (1st instars) emerge from the females head.

    Females never leave their host (they have no antennae, mouth, gut, segmentation or ovaries)

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