Microterys nietneri

Description

The tiny encyrtid wasp Microterys nietneri is very distinctive in appearance, being mainly orange, but with strongly patterned wings and antennae which are black and white at the tips.  Despite its striking appearance there are similar species and great care is needed with identification.  

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters. We suggest recorders seek expert confirmation before adding records for this species.

Habitat

It has been introduced around the world as a biocontrol agent against some soft-scale, greenhouse pests and seems to have escaped in Britain to seek soft-scale insects on various vegetation in the wild.

When to see it

Most likely to be swept from shrubs and bushes in the summer months. Certainly in the past it could not have survived outside of greenhouse conditions because it is really a warm-climate species.

UK Status

It had turned up in the London area by 2019 and may be unrecorded in other areas. Possibly introduced accidentally with these greenhouse pests from places like the Netherlands, although it may also have found its own way here.  

VC55 Status

Rare or rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map