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Submitted on
July 30
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383 KB


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Camera Data

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Shutter Speed
1/125 second
Focal Length
100 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jul 13, 2014, 12:08:53 AM
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows
Sensor Size
Braconid wasp laying eggs by melvynyeo Braconid wasp laying eggs by melvynyeo
Found this braconid wasp laying eggs on a tree trunk.... most probably targeting a beetle larvae. Taken at night in Singapore.

Quote from…
The Braconidae is a large family of parasitoid wasps. There are approximately 17,000 recognized species and many thousands more undescribed.[1] One analysis estimated a total between about 30,000 and 50,000, and another provided a narrower estimate between 42,000 and 43,000 species.[1] As of 2013, the species are grouped into 47 subfamilies and over 1,000 genera,[2] which include Ademon, Aphanta, Asobara, Bracon, Cenocoelius, Chaenusa, Chorebidea, Chorebidella, Chorebus, Cotesia, Dacnusa, Microgaster, Opius, Parapanteles, Phaenocarpa, and Psenobolus.

The morphological variation among braconids is notable. They are often black-brown (sometimes with reddish markings), though some species exhibit striking coloration and patterns, being parts of Müllerian mimicry complexes. They have one or no recurrent veins, unlike other members of the Ichneumonoidea, which usually have two. Wing venation patterns are also divergent to apparent randomness. The antennae have 16 segments or more; the hind trochanters have two segments.

Females often have long ovipositors, an organ that largely varies intraspecifically. This variation is closely related to the host species upon which the wasp deposits its egg. Species that parasitize microlepidopterans, for instance, have longer ovipositors, presumably to reach the caterpillar through layers of plant tissue. Some wasps also have long ovipositors because of caterpillar defense mechanisms such as spines or hairs.

Most braconids are internal and external primary parasitoids on other insects, especially upon the larval stages of Coleoptera, Diptera, and Lepidoptera, but also some hemimetabolous insects such as aphids, Heteroptera, or Embiidina. Most species kill their hosts, though some cause the hosts to become sterile and less active. Endoparasitoid species often display elaborate physiological adaptations to enhance larval survival within the host, such as the co-option of endosymbiotic viruses for compromising host immune defenses. These polydnaviruses are often used by the wasps instead of a venom cocktail. The DNA of the wasp actually contains portions that are the templates for the components of the viral particles and they are assembled in an organ in the female's abdomen known as the calyx.[3] A 2009 study has traced the origins of these templates to a 100-million-year-old viral infection whose alterations to its host DNA provided the necessary basis for these virus-like "templates".[4]

These viruses suppress the immune system and allow the parasitoid to grow inside the host undetected. The exact function and evolutionary history of these viruses are unknown. Sequences of polydnavirus genes show the possibility that venom-like proteins are expressed inside the host caterpillar. Through the evolutionary history of being used by the wasps, these viruses apparently have become so modified, they appear unlike any other known viruses today. Because of this highly modified system of host immunosuppression, a high level of parasitoid-host specificity is not surprising.

Parasitism on adult insects (particularly on Hemiptera and Coleoptera) is also observed. Members of two subfamilies (Mesostoinae and Doryctinae) are known to form galls on plants.
ThisIsDave Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Student Filmographer
plain awesome
maura24 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, just wow!
sogblettur Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Amazing picture!
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