Eucharitid ant parasitoid wasp
Lassen Co., California, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2004

Eucharitid wasps are specialized parasitoids of ants.  Larvae develop inside ant nests feeding on  ant brood.  Adult wasps sometimes form large mating swarms in meadows, where the females such as the one pictured here oviposit in plant material.  Young larvae attach themselves to passing ants, or to ant prey items, to be carried into the ant nest. 

USA, CA, Lassen Co.: Hallelujah Junction.
2.vii.2004, 39º46'N 120º04'W, 1470m
Great Basin Desert.

This image is copyrighted by the photographer and cannot be used without permission. To obtain permission to use this image, please email Alex Wild. (alwild (at)  Most of the photographs on are reduced from their original size and compressed for more efficient web transmission.  In some cases, higher quality versions are available.

This image was captured with a Canon EOS D60, with a Canon 65/2.8 MPE 1-5x Macro lens.