During Sunday morning’s meander around Cosmeston, I watched this little drama play out on a fence post: the larva of one of the Syrphus* species of hoverfly was being injected with eggs by a parasitic wasp. The poor larva was bucking about, desperately trying to get rid of the intruder, but to no avail. The wasp’s ovipositor was firmly wedged into the hoverfly larva, pumping eggs into its body. The larva will be eaten from the inside by the wasp’s larvae when they hatch.
*My ID was wrong. When I recorded this find, I got the following message from national recorder Geoffrey Wilkinson: ‘This is a small 3rd-stage Epistrophe grossulariae – the rear breathing tube is longer than broad and is two-toned in colour (brown tipped, clear base). Although the colour pattern has yet to fully develop you can just see the fish-bone pattern of green and make out the black dorsal dashes.’