Eggs hatched… Eupelmidae Wasps

 The eggs I found on the Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) took about 16-21 days to hatch.

This is what they looked like when I collected them back in September.

Closeup of the eggs hatched.

I identified them to the superfamily Chalcidoidea because they do not have any venation in their wings.  I could not get it any further than that.  Brittany pointed out the eggs looked like they should be in the hemipteran order (such as true bugs, aphids, cicadas, or leafhoppers etc). As I was looking for something else later, I believe I have found what the eggs were.  The eggs fit the description of a stink bug (Pentatomidae) with the ring of spines around the edge of lid. So the little wasp had parasitized the eggs. BugGuide thought the wasps should be put in the Eupelmidae family.  They were about 2mm long. There are about 2,200 described North American species in the superfamily. They are an important group helping to keep other insects population in check. (Study of Insects by Charles A Triplehorn and Norman F Johnson, 2005). In the aforementioned book, they said “pest population”. I take issue with that phase because it puts it in human terms on what is defined as a pest.
And by the way, Brittany is very very good artist. Many thanks to Claire, Brittany, Diane and Karl (all my scientists) for your input. Thanks to BugGuide‘s expertise for taking it to family!

Closeup of the wings. They have 4 wings, and no venation (veins like a bumble bee’s wings for example)
Another note: Yesterday I posted a photo of a ranch sign with “We don’t rent pigs” written on it. Thanks to a person that does not want be named but does our laundry; he googled it. And now we have the answer. It is from the movie and book, Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. You can read some quotes from the movie here and another in the article which in the last paragraph the article says, ” the tongue-in-cheek line from Gus McCrae
saying “We Don’t Rent Pigs” can be interpreted as saying we don’t
tolerate dishonest people who want to “rent” pigs.”  So there, the mystery is solved by the unnamed person. Thank you!

Keep on looking!

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