Tinkerbell the Wasp

Meet Tinkerbell the wasp!

She’s a newly discovered parasitoid wasp from Costa Rica in South America. Called Tinkerbella nana, she is named after Peter Pan’s tiny flying friend and belongs to the tiny family commonly known as fairyflies.

She is so small that she can only be seen clearly under a powerful microscope.

The tiny parasitic insect is just 250 micrometers in length (250 millionths of a meter; a micrometer is one thousandth of a millimeter) and is actually a type of chalcid wasp which survives by feeding off the eggs and larvae of other insects.

This parasitic feeding behavior is beneficial to local farmers — keeping harmful pests in check by reducing their off-spring.