ChrysididaeStilbum cyanurum (Large Cuckoo Wasp)

One of the most colourful of the families in the order Hymenoptera, is the genus Chrysididae, commonly known as the Cuckoo Wasps, Emerald Wasps and Jewel Wasps.

The Chrysididae is a very large cosmopolitan group (with over 3,000 described species) of parasitoid or kleptoparasitic wasps. They have a highly sculptured appearance, with brilliant metallic colours.

Chrysididae (Cuckoo Wasp), Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Chrysididae (Cuckoo Wasp), Midwest WA © Gary Taylor

They are typically associated with solitary bee and wasp species, and as the term “cuckoo wasp” implies, they lead a parasitic lifestyle, with many species exhibiting behaviour in the host nests similar to that of cuckoos in the nests of their bird hosts.

Chrysididae (Cuckoo Wasp), Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Chrysididae (Cuckoo Wasp), Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Chrysididae (Cuckoo Wasp), Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Chrysididae (Cuckoo Wasp), Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Chrysididae, genus Stilbum (Cuckoo Wasp), Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Chrysididae, genus Stilbum (Cuckoo Wasp), Midwest WA © Gary Taylor

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Superfamily: Chrysidoidea
  • Family: Chrysididae
  • Subfamily: Amiseginae
  • Subfamily: Chrysidinae
  • Subfamily: Loboscelidiinae


ChrysididaeStilbum cyanurum (Large Cuckoo Wasp)

WaspsWasps Index Australian Large Wasps Australian Mud Nest Wasps Mud Wasp Velvet Ants Abispa ephippium Acarozumia amaliae Aulacidae Australodynerus Bembix Bembicinae Blue Hairy Flower Wasp Braconidae Chrysididae Cryptocheilus bicolor (Orange Spider Wasp) Delta latreillei (Potter Wasp) Delta philantes Eumeninae Ferreola handschini (Orange-collared Spider Wasp) Flower Wasps Gasteruptiid Wasp Hairy Flower Wasps Isodontia (Grass-carrying Wasp) Lissopimpla excelsa (Orchid Dupe Wasp) Mutillidae Paralastor sp. Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Radumeris radula (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Radumeris tasmaniensis (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Sceliphron laetum Thynnid Wasps Tiphiidae Torymus Yellow and Black Wasp

InsectsBees Beetles Blattodea Butterflies Coleoptera Cicada Crabronidae Diptera Dragonflies & Damselflies Formicidae Hemiptera Heteroptera (True Bugs) Mango Planthopper Moths Orthoptera Orthopteroid Processionary Caterpillar Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs and Allies Syrphidae Wasps Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes tristis) Witchetty Grub