Jewel wasps

Last summer while hiking near Bald Hill we found a rose bush covered in strange mossy growths.  I didn’t take a picture, but they looked like this:

Rose gall (photo from Wanderin' Weeta blog)

After some research, we learned that they were “mossy rose galls”, inhabited by the larvae of the Diplolepis rosae wasp:

Rose gall wasp, credit to

John put the galls in a jar, and we forgot about them for four months.  When John opened the jar today, imagine our surprise to find these beautiful creatures:

Female (top) and two males, taken with 20x magnification through John's dissecting scope.


Female close-up.


These are Jewel Wasps, Torymus bedeguaris, which parasitize the gall wasp larvae – meta-parasites!  No gall wasps hatched out, either because they were all parasitized or (more likely) because they were more sensitive to dessication as the galls dried out.


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3 Responses to Jewel wasps

  1. Susannah says:

    Beautiful wasps!

    And thank you for notifying me and including the link to my blog post.

  2. Rose says:

    Awesome! Its funny I know about them a little too since our Plant Ecology lab takes a close look at them! I LOVE the green metallic ones! 🙂

  3. Kelly F says:

    So beautiful! They look a lot like some of the ones I vacuumed out of my research plots. I absolutely love the parasitoids (and parasitoids of parasitoids) — they have such beautiful sculpturing, brilliant colors, and cool (reduced) wing venation. Thanks so much for sharing your hymenopteran friends! Yay!

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