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Tiny specks of metallic green and red caught the light as the sun emerged from behind large fluffy clouds and touched the leaves of an Oak tree. But what were they? Even when I edged closer, I could barely make them out, so miniscule were they. Turns out these are parasitoid wasps belonging to the superfamily Chalcidoidea, and probably from the genus Eulophidae, but that’s as far as the experts online could go without microscopic examination of these startling creatures. An article on the Natural History Museum website begins: ‘Described as “gem-like inhabitants of the woodlands by most never seen nor dreamt of”, chalcidoids include some of the most beautiful insects on the planet’, and I think you can see why.

220521 Eulophidae parasitic wasp