My best photo yet of a Hedychrum species of ruby tailed wasp.
Hedychrum sp of ruby tailed wasp there are two types of Hedychrum which can only be told apart under a microscope.
Found in open sandy areas associated with the nesting habitat of its host (see below). Present on inland sandy areas including lowland heaths, and coastal sandy areas.
Probably univoltine; July and August.
Wild carrot (Daucus carota), sheep’s-bit (Jasione montana) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium).
No information available.
The hosts of this species are the Crabronid wasps Astata boops (see Map 083), Tachysphex pompiliformis (see Map 087) and Dienoplus tumidus (Morgan, 1984, as Gorytes tumidus). However, the distribution of A. boops and H. roseum are so similar in England that A. boops would seem to be the main, or even the only, host. For further information see H. ardens.
There are a number of Ruby-tailed wasp species that look very similar and are difficult to tell apart. They’re all beautifully coloured, with red, blue, green and bronze metallic colours. These wasps are solitary, meaning they don’t live in large social nests.
Chrysis ignita is the species of the ruby-tailed wasps that can be found across the UK from April through to September.
Being barely 10mm in length, they can be difficult to spot. You can often see them running restlessly over walls and tree trunks, constantly using their downward-curving antennae to pick up the scent of their host insect. As a parasite they require another species for part of their life cycle, Chrysis ignita mainly parasitizes mason bees and other solitary bees.
Parasite on bees
Once a female ruby-tailed wasp finds the nest of its host insect, it explores the entrance to make sure no one is home. If it should encounter an angry resident, it is well equipped to defend itself; it has a very hard body cuticle which protects it from stings and the underside of the abdomen is concave so the wasp can curl up into a ball.
About 9mm long and a rather iridescent sea green in colour.
Associated with open habitats with aerial nesting sites of its hosts such as wooden fence and gate posts, dead trees, logs and tree stumps, and holes in mud and cob walls.
When to see it
Recorded from May until September but mainly during June and July. There are a very few records from April and October. The males and females have the same flight period.
Several umbellifers are amongst the flowers it visits. It is a cuckoo wasp and its hosts include wasps of the Trypoxylon family.
This species shows a widespread distribution in southern Britain up as far as Yorkshire with isolated records from further north… Naturespot
This wasp is from the Chrysidinae species of Ruby Tailed wasps. Sadly without a sample being studied under a microscope it can not go any further with the ID.
There are 15 wasps in the Chrysidinae species..
These solitary wasps are often called cuckoo, or ruby-tailed, wasps. They have a heavily armoured, brightly coloured cuticle. The apical gastral segments have been modified to form a thin, tubular structure that can be telescoped into the hind end of the gaster. In the female this tubular structure has been secondarily modified to act as an ovipositor. They have a parasitoid life history.