These posts feature interesting observations I have found when going through my camera roll that I may not have noticed before.
In this case, the interesting culprit was a pupa found in a Pheidole nest at the garden of the gods. Let's take a look at the photo, shall we?
You might not be able to see it at first, but you are looking for a pupa with larger eyes and proportions than the other pupae in the picture. Let's look at a tighter crop.
The pupa is much more visible in this crop. it has large red eyes.
Here is a crop showing the pupa.
What is it?
I believe this is a Eucharitid wasp. The wasps lay their eggs on a leaf and larvae hatch and invade the nest and attach themselves to larvae and parasitize off of them. After becoming an adult, females emerge from the nest and mate with males, then they proceed to lay eggs on the underside of a leaf, and the process repeats again.
Each species of Eucharitid is a species-specific predator of a species of ant. Meaning they only parasitize one species of ant. They are very interesting insects if you ask me.
This photo by Alex wild shows an adult wasp within a Pheidole bicarinata nest, which is likely what the Pheidole from my photo was. If you would like to see more of Alex's images you can click on his name, the image, or visit his website, www.alexanderwild.com.