This is the male of the 'Blue ant' or Bluebottle we all knew as kids - a large, wingless female wasp in metallic electric blue with red legs.
Although not often seen there were several found on this day.
A large and intimidating wasp with dramatic colours which targets large spiders as prey. This one was rummaging around in Ghania (swordgrass) and refused to give me a good view of it's abdomen. I believe the abdomen can vary somewhat with the amount of black or orange banding.
This 12mm long wasp was working in a fresh tree hole (E ironbark) coming and going every 60 seconds. I blocked the hole for a minute to get some shots when she returned. Similar to other Paralastor but the main abdominal band has a distinct notch.
A 20 mm black wasp with striking thin white markings on thorax and abdomen. Head and legs showed diffuse white patches. Legs showed short spikes and appeared unusually long and were held spread out around the body like a spider.
Spotted making a burrow in soil beside a walking track.
This wasp was about 20 mm long with yellow markings on thorax and head. Scutellum was yellow as were parts of the legs. The abdomen was an amber colour and slightly dorso-ventrally flattened. Wings were clear.
My thanks to Tony D for identifying the genus and for the following information "Beautiful wasp! Features of note for Labium are the large hind claws, ovipositor just barely projecting in females (as seen here), antennae more or less semi-clavate, and head longish below eyes (shown in third pic)."
Looking like a 5 mm piece of bird-dropping, this little black and white capsule is a cocoon of an ichneumon wasp. It was attached to the leaves on this young tree and wrapped around it was the skin of its larval host - a lepidopteran. Mimicking bird-dropping and wrapping the skin of the larval host over and around is, apparently, one of the many strategies employed by ichneumonids to escape attacks from hyperparasitoids. Spotted on a young black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) in a nature reserve.
This small wasp ( a case-moth larvae parasite wasp) was about 10 mm long and very active. The narrow abdomen had thin white bands and a moderate size ovipositor. Head, antennae and thorax were black. The hind legs had black and white markings while the other legs were a pale yellow.
Spotted actively searching low plants (in this case the bumblebee weed) in a riparian area.
Very often we find eucalyptus leaves that have been delaminated and puffed into a 'pillow' with a large internal void. This tiny wasp might be part of the story. It was at a rough opening on this puffed leaf and seems to be extricating itself from a skin just inside the hole. About 6mm long with distinctive black pterostigma and a longish flexed abdomen.. It turns out that this is a type of sawfly. Black over the thorax should be Phylacteophaga froggatti (male)