These tiny wasps are sometimes known as ‘jewel wasps’ or ‘cuckoo wasps’, these are brightly coloured, the head and thorax being greenish-blue, and the abdomen is golden red. Length 5 to 15mm.
The female lays its eggs in the nests of mason bees, where the larvae hatch and eat the host larvae.
It flies May to September, and is found in a variety of habitats, including heathland and gardens. A common and widespread species.
Photographs of Ruby-tailed Wasp (Chrysis ignita), taken June 2011, rear garden, Staffordshre. © Pete Hillman 2011. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.