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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Many Metalic Green Wasps on Plant Stem


Wasps B
Wasps B  

Wasps C
Wasps C  
Around 9AM today (9/1/14), while looking for insects in Central Park (New York City), I spotted a cluster of roughly fifteen metallic green wasps on an Echinacea stem. Can you tell me what we're looking at here? Chalcids? Why are some large and some small? Male versus female? I don't see any ovipositors. Two species? It looks like they were perhaps emerging from several holes in the stem. You can see a wasp peeking out of a hole in one of the accompanying photographs. These wasps walked and flew about that one spot on the stem for at least the twenty minutes I watched. Sorry about the lousy photographs. My camera is pretty rudimentary.

Thanks for your help, Eric!


I'm completely stumped.  I think they are indeed chalcids, probably all males waiting for a female to emerge from the stem....

If you send me the images I can probably share them with some experts I know.  Just e-mail me at:


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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