What is it? an insect of some kind!

Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by tpe, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. tpe

    tpe TPF Noob!

    Nov 18, 2005
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    Copenhagen Denmark
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    Photos OK to edit
    Whilst trying to take some pictures of ants farming aphids (i dont recomend i think they are just too small for a standard 1:1 macro:confused:) it turned out there was an even smaller insect that was also getting looked after by the ants (Normandy France);


    The ants would go up to it regularly but not eat it or chase it away as they were with everything else including the nosy human near by.

    But this little creature was just doing its usual buisness, in pictures i think it is laying an egg with its abdomen pointed forard so as its babies can grow up and feed on the inside of the stil living host aphid, but it is really difficult to see right under the jaws of the protecting ant;


    at a guess this looks like some kind of parasitic wasp? but what one (i could not find it in the local insect books)? What is it doing, is its victim the ant the plant or the aphid (there were some black dead looking ones, could the wasp be the reason)? and does it immitate the aphids smell to avoid being eaten by the ants, or is the relationship even documented?


    BTW if anyone has any comments on how to get better or closer pictures of things on this scale without spending a total fortune on kit they would be very much apreciated, these are with a 105mm sigma macro, but i dont think reversing a lense on it would help in the feild, and if i take it home then the animals are likley to stop what they were doing. Would there be much point in putting an enlargment filter on the end of the macro lense?


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