Updated: Jan 20
Cuckoo wasps: crazy, crafty, or just plain terrifying!
What: Cuckoo wasps are wasps that are even more clever and crafty than they are cuckoo!
Who: Cuckoo wasps are similar to cuckoo birds with whom they share the cuckoo name in that they both trick other animals to care for and feed their babies.
When: When cuckoo wasps are attacked, they roll up into a protective ball like an armadillo or pill bug in a process called, "conglobation."
Where: They're everywhere! Cuckoo wasps live all over our world.
How: How many species of cuckoo wasps are there? Over 3,000!
Why: Why aren't cuckoo wasps considered to be parasites? Because they're considered to be parasitoids and kleptoparasites. What is a parasitoid and kleptoparasite? Find out in The Screaming Hairy Armadillo!
Huh?: Worst guests ever... not only do cuckoo wasp larvae steal food from other wasp larvae, sometimes they'll even eat the larvae of the wasp "hosting" them!
Wow!: Cuckoo wasps are some of the most magnificently colored critters in the animal kingdom with shimmering iridescent blues, purples, and greens, maybe they should be called "peacock wasps"!
Thank you for your curiosity, stay curious, and let your curiosity lead your learning with more Curiosity-Based Learning content and activities from What If Curiosity!