Braconid Parasitic Wasp  (two photos)
Genus Chelonus

brachonid wasp
Swarming Chelonus Braconid Wasps. Carol Davis 9-13-2009 Ant. Island

swarming brachonid wasps
I've never seen wasps like this before and these were in large groups on sunflowers plants.  I found
some literature on the Internet where there are cases of these wasps (braconids) swarming.   It was
neat to have witnessed this.  There is still some speculation as to why they swarm but it might have
 something to do with preservation of the species -- the females sometimes emerge later than the
males. Grouping increases their ability to find the females, I suppose.  They were very busy feeding
and couldn't care less that I was taking pictures of them.   Braconid Wasps are considered 
beneficial.  Read more about Braconids here.  Carol Davis 9-13-2009 Ant. Island

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