While sorting insects collected in Serra da Estrela from last autumn, I found some parasited Cicadellidae. The culprits? Dryinidae!
Dryinidae is a family of parasitoid wasps of various groups such as Lepidoptera and Coleoptera but, in most cases, they are parasitoids of nymphs and adults of Auchenorrhyncha.
Dryinids are endoparasitoids but, during the development, the larva protrudes from the host's body and creates a rigid structure for protection. When fully developed the parasitoid leaves the host, which is killed by then, in order to pupate.
Dryinidae are quite beautiful wasps and the sexual dimorphism is highly marked with most of the females being apterous and resembling ants. The females also have claw-like front legs to grab the host when ovipositing.
In the following pictures the larva protruding the host's body is very visible.