Photo of a small parasitic wasp (probably a Copidosoma sp.). This tiny insect is feeding on Alyssum flowers in the Block Eight vineyard. We have sown Alyssum as part of our programme to support beneficial insects. Insects like Copidosoma can control populations of leaf roller moths like the Light Brown Apple Moth which can damage vine flowers and fruit in New Zealand. Control without insecticides who would have guessed?
These wasps are amazing insects. A female lays only a few eggs on the egg of its lepidopteran [moth] host. The eggs multiply by cloning into as many as a few thousand (polyembryony). The larvae don't begin growing until the caterpillar has reached a certain size. Sci-Fi has nothing on this!