Stilbum cyanurum  (Forster, 1771)
Main synonym = Chrysis amethystina    Fabricius, 1775
Taxonomical Classification:  Animalia / Arthropoda / Insecta / Hymenoptera / Chrysididae
Large cuckoo wasp     Maltese name not known
Further Information:
Cuckoo Wasps visit flowers to feed on nectar where they are particulary fond of flowers of the mint family (Lamiaceae). In Malta, they are often found close to or at urban areas at the end of Summer, perhaps because in the wild there is lack of many flowering plants at this period.

The species has a vast distribution, from Europe to Austalia where it is native to. Females lay eggs in Mud Wasp nests. When the larvae hatch, they feed on the food stored in the nest intended for the Mud Wasp larva, or on the Mud Wasp larva body. If attacked by the Mud Wasp host, the intruding Cuckoo Wasp protects itself by curling into a ball.

Many thanks to Maurizio Pavesi for his time to identify the species from a specimen collected from Gozo (Aug-2014)

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