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Australian Wildlife

  Blue Ant (Diamma bicolor)





Blue Ant | Diamma bicolor photo
A female Blue Ant Diamma bicolor looking for Mole Crickets to inject with her eggs

Image by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos - GNU Free Documentation License.    (view image details)

Blue Ant | Diamma bicolor photo
female Blue Ant

Image by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos - GNU Free Documentation License.    (view image details)



BLUE ANT FACTS

Identification
Blue Ants are not ants at all but the wingless females of a species of Flower Wasp. The female is has a glossy blue green body with reddish legs. They move across the ground with a rapid restless motion with abdomen raised above the ground. The winged male and is slender and much smaller with more typical wasp appearance. Males have black with white spots on the abdomen. The female wasps paralyse mole crickets as food for their larvae. The female wasp can give a painful sting if disturbed, but they are not commonly encountered by people.

Size
length: females 23mm, males 15mm

Food
Adults feed on nectar.

Breeding
Blue Ants are parasitic wasps and lay their eggs on mole crickets. The female wasp runs over the ground like an ant looking for a mole cricket to parasitise. She paralyses the mole crickets with a sting and lay an egg on it. When the egg hatches, the larva feeds on the cricket.

Range
Blue Ants are found in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Tiphiidae
Genus:Diamma
Species:bicolor
Common Name:Blue Ant