Golden Cuckoo Wasp Pseudomalus auratus


Pseudomalus auratus

Length 5 mm. These tiny wasps are sometimes known as ‘jewel wasps’ or ‘cuckoo wasps’. They are brightly coloured, the head and thorax being a metallic greenish-blue, and the abdomen a bright bronze-red. There are only 2 Pseudomalus species in the UK, the other being P violaceus which is much scarcer.

Probably a parasitoid on small stem and wood-nesting sphecid wasps.

Fies May to September, and seen on woodland margins and in clearings, gardens and parks. Often found resting on sun-exposed leaves of deciduous trees and bushes.. A common and widespread species, but scarcer further north.

Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps & Sawflies)
Family Chrysididae (Ruby-tailed Wasps)
Species Pseudomalus auratus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Photos: Back garden, South Staffordshire June 2011. © Peter Hillman