Cuckoo Wasp

Hedychridium anithaae

Species name: Cuckoo Wasp
Scientific name: Hedychridium anithaae


Locally known as: Daboor


Description: This wasp has black wings and can flex its abdomen in a curling position when it is attacked.


IUCN status: Not evaluated.


Key threats: Habitat loss.


Where they’re found today: Wetland habitat with vegetation (Inland standing water habitats and habitats of moist ground) and farm areas in Abu Dhabi.


Abu Dhabi’s efforts: The Cuckoo Wasp, which is unique to the UAE, was found and collected by EAD on a routine wildlife trapping exercise at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in 2009 and was declared a new species.. Since then, the wasp has been added to a global list of invertebrates that catalogues all known species. EAD continues to ensure the effective management and monitoring of the emerald-coloured species. Establishment of various protected areas is helping to ensure conservation of suitable habitat prevent disturbance. EAD undertakes continuous monitoring of the species, within and outside protected areas.


Fun facts:

  1. The wasp was named Hedychridium anithaae in honour of the EAD scientist who discovered it, Dr Anita Saji.
  2. The cuckoo wasp is also commonly known as the emerald wasp for its shiny metallic-coloured body.
  3. Mother wasps sneak into the nests of other insects and lay their eggs onto the growing larvae. Once it’s hatched, the baby Cuckoo Wasp eats the host larva.