The cutest wasp ever?

Mrs. Myrmecos and I have returned from Brazil! Blogging will resume shortly, once I’ve had time to run the laundry, answer a month’s email accumulation, and get through the painful withdrawl process of a chronic Pão de Quiejo addiction.

In the meantime, here’s what advanced scientific research reveals to be the Cutest Wasp Ever:

An encyrtid wasp (Paraná, Brazil)

I will consider alternative views of entomological cuteness in the comments, however.

23 thoughts on “The cutest wasp ever?”

  1. Encyrtidae: (wiki)

    “Some species exhibit a remarkable developmental phenomenon called “polyembryony”, in which a single egg multiplies clonally in the host and produces large numbers of identical adult wasps. Even more remarkably, some of the larvae are larger than the others and act in a similar way to the “soldiers” of eusocial insects, attacking any other wasp larvae already in the body of the host, and dying without reproducing (“altruism”).”


    Oh who can tell me why a wasp would mimic a beatle?
    Is it so “you won’t see me”? (1965)

    1. You have to understand that no wasp decides to mimic a beatle. It just ‘happens to be’ effective. If a wasp looks slightly more like a beatle, maybe something eating wasps doesn’t attack it as often. Or maybe things that it would eat don’t run away because they think it’s a harmless beatle. Or, whatever other advantage it might give. But, like I said, remember that no wasp thought ‘I’m going to look like a beatle, this is a good strategy.’ Due to mutations, if a wasp looked more like a beatle, apparently it got to eat more/get eaten less and so could pass on its genes. If any of his mutant children looked even more like a beatle, they’d in turn get eaten even less/eat more themselves (or whatever other advantage they just happened to have) and so on.

      1. Oh, I now see that you might look for a specific reason instead of a general one. Sorry. I have no clue and would be interested in the answer.

  2. While this little encyrtid is certainly in the running for cutest wasp, I have to cast my vote solidly for the little apterous scelionines in the genus Baeus. . .even the name is tiny, round, and chubby looking.

  3. This guy should be friends with the walking stick guy (the one with the awesome eyes) in the pixar movie you will be a consultant for.

  4. This cute bug contest is a delight! The entries are just darling (except maybe Jason’s Camponotus, which is more Geroge Clooney than cute and rounded).

    As for that addiction, find some Brazilians to get together for a pa~o de queijo, feijoada and couve party. ….. Or, you could use Ruby Tuesday’s garlic biscuits as a sort of methodone treatment.

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