Six-toothed golden wasp spotted for the first time in Belgium

Six-toothed golden wasp spotted for the first time in Belgium
Credit: Belga

A species of golden wasp new to Belgium, the six-toothed golden wasp, was observed for the first time in mid-June, when a female was captured in the old cemetery of Harelbeke, West Flanders.

This is probably the most northerly location in which the species has been detected, Natuurpunt environmental association reports on its website.

The six-toothed golden wasp (Chrysis sexdentata) is about 1 cm long. The only neighbouring countries where it has been observed are France and Germany. The species is easy for nature lovers to recognise since it is the only golden wasp with six sharp teeth on the rear body, which is completely red, while the head and thorax are variable in color, but usually green or blue.

Golden wasps are particularly beautiful wasps that cannot sting. They only have an ovipositor that is not strong enough to penetrate human skin and are therefore completely harmless to people. They are often found near dead wood or stone walls.

Golden wasps are also called cuckoo wasps since, like the cuckoo, they lay their eggs in the nest of other species. Their larvae then grow up on the food provided by the host for its own offspring.

About 80 species of this family have been observed in Belgium, according to Natuurpunt.

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