Today I got to see something I’ve always wanted to and yet has always eluded me – not only that but two different species and both in our back garden! My thanks have to go to my girlfriend for spotting these little jewels first!
These are ruby-tailed wasps – little irridescent gems of insects which are often found around deadwood in sunny spots searching for the nests of solitary bees where they lay their eggs.
The larger and most spectacular of the two we found is the Chrysis species – these are very difficult to identify and so I only have this one to genus level.
The other was even smaller and a metallic green colour – Trichrysis cynea.
This one went into a hole in the wooden archway in the garden and investigated for a while before settling in and then re-emerging around 20 minutes later. The video below shows the wasp leaving the tiny drill-hole cavity.
Elsewhere in the garden, there were little clouds of even smaller bees – they were concentrated on the campanula flowers and are the tiny harebell carpenter bee – Chelostoma campanularum.
These minuscule little bees were so easily overlooked but a real pleasure to watch – the video below is a slow-mo of them approaching and investigating the bellflowers.