went to hit by the bball courts a few days ago and saw this lil guy by the metal fence where i set my backpack down
my immediate reaction was to get it to pop over on my index finger but i was like ok wait, lemme check who you are first. i uploaded the second pic to iNaturalist and started hitting the wall1.
i got an ID, like, 43 minutes later and it turns out it’s a blue-eyed ensign wasp. like huh???
Evania appendigaster is a species of wasp in the family Evaniidae, the ensign wasps. Its native range is not known, but it likely originated in Asia. Today it occurs throughout the tropics and subtropics and in many temperate regions. It is a parasitoid wasp known for specializing on cockroaches.
first of all, parasitoid? mostly i think that’s just a fabulous word because i’m not, idk, a biologist. it’s basically a wasp that lays its eggs in other bug-type creatures2 until they die3. fabulous ! and this guy ??? specializing in cockroaches??? here in new new york city, baby !!!
this was a cute find and a fun internet spiral to follow :~) idk if i’ll ever not be Scared Of Bugs, but reading these few webpages is doing something to my brain and that something is a net positive, i’m sure
btw, the whole point of wall drills is to develop consistency. apparently !!! i continue to be shocked at nearly every single piece of basic tennis instruction. you know what i used to do with wall practice up until like a few days ago? hit as hard as i can, arm the flat groundstroke and scramble to get the next one. that shit feels good tho– great twhack sound against the wall and huge confidence boost when it hits the sweet spot on the racket. anyway, we live we learn ↩︎
apparently the blue-eyed ensign wasp actually lays its eggs inside the egg cases of cockroach eggs or directly into the large collective sac of cockroach eggs, which is so… like, ok go off ↩︎