Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

A group of 76 species of wasps known as cuckoo wasps mostly parasitize other wasps. These wasps exploit another species’ nest to nurture their own young, much like a cuckoo bird that manages to convince another species to raise its chick. This behaviour has been observed in many species of cuckoo wasps, and it is thought to be an evolutionary adaptation that allows them to survive in environments where food is scarce.

Life Cycle

The female cuckoo wasp lays an egg next to the egg of the host species after discovering the eggs or nest holding the eggs of a suitable species, such as the Mud-dauber Wasp. The cuckoo wasp larva consumes the food that is kept for the Mud-young dauber once the cuckoo wasp egg hatches. Some types of cuckoo wasp larvae wait for the host larvae to hatch and begin feeding before attacking and devouring them. When the female cuckoo wasp is discovered destroying the Mud-nest, dauber curls up and puts protective armour plates on her body.


The majority of cuckoo wasps are tiny, rarely growing larger than 1.2 cm (about 0.5 inches). Typically, it is a metallic shade of blue or green. When startled or assaulted, the insect can curl into a ball thanks to its flexible abdomen. Cuckoo Wasps are also known for their bright colours and patterns, which make them a popular subject for photographers.

Habit or Behaviour

Cuckoo wasps, also known as cuckoo bees, are fascinating species of wasps with unique behaviour. They are known for their ability to lay their eggs in the nests of other species of bees and wasps. This behaviour has earned them the name “cuckoo” because they act like the cuckoo birds that lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. Cuckoo wasps have evolved to be able to mimic the appearance and behaviour of other species in order to gain access to their nests and lay their eggs. This behaviour has made them an interesting subject for scientific studies, as it provides insight into how evolution works.

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