Metallic-blue Chalcid Wasp
Face with Hairy Eyes
Metallic-blue Chalcid Wasp
Metallic-blue Chalcid Wasp (Leucospis sp)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Ant Bee Wasps (Hymenoptera)
Family: Parasitic Wasp (Wasp: Chalcidoidea: Leucospidae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Metallic-blue Chalcid Wasp (Leucospis sp)
This Photo:     🔍Posterior🔎
Other name: Chalcidiod Wasp

Thank you Dan B (HeadSoup) for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
1st record of this genus in South Australia
2 females were found together ~8mm & ~9mm, a visibly noticable size difference. The following year a 3rd was found closer to 10mm.
Superficially look like potter wasps, but with thick abdomens; which are similar to sawflies.
Very large rear legs, so a Chalcidid Wasp
Notice how generally they hold their wings vertically; normally a diagnostic for Vespidae potter wasps. But vespidae "fold" their wings, note here their wings are "rolled". A subtle but important difference.
The most obvious charactieristic on close examination is the ovi-positor laying flat along the TOP of the abdomen! It even has a little parking pozzy on the thick waist to protect it. This is the sheath, they still inject their prey from underneath.
It's covered in thick, white hairs/setae; including it's eyes. Is also covered in punctuations and has a blue-metallic sheen everywhere the orange splashes aren't. We haven't found this colour pattern anywhere on-line. Others in the genus do tend to be a mix of orange & black/blue.The ocelli & rear leg spines are diagnostic to separate species. Also noticed some spines eminating from the rear of the thorax.
We found 3 females in Nov & Dec.

Copyright © 2022-2023 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 25-Nov-2022
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.