Entomology (Study of Bugs)/identify insect


Hi Eric,

I was hoping you could help me identify an insect.  It's a small flying black insect with long rear legs.  It kind of looks like a tiny black cricket that flies.  They manage to get in my house all of the time here in Dallas, following me in the door I guess.  The cats love to chase them down and, unless I manage to catch and liberate them, the cats usually succeed.  See attached picture.  Thanks in advance for your help!

Best regards,


Hi, Greg:

Thank you so much for including the nice image with your question.  You have a neat critter here!

This is an "ensign wasp," family Evaniidae.  They do not sting, but the female wasp lays a single egg in a cockroach egg pod.  The larva that hatches then eats the cockroach eggs.  I did a blog post about them once:


That link should answer most of your questions.  Thanks again for sharing your discovery.


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.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
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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