Metallic very large blue/black wasp
Location: Fairfield, Maine USA
August 9, 2010 12:06 pm
I saw this large iridescent thing wizz by me out in the meadow. I was able to track it down and get a few pictures before it flew away. Is this a Steel Blue Cricket Hunter (Chlorion aerarium) or maybe a Blue mud Wasp? I cannot tell so far. It was quite large, I dare even guess 2 inches long. It is also very active and almost never came to a full ”stop.” it is beautiful, but can/will it sting a person?
Nice job of narrowing down the identification of this lovely Thread-Waisted Wasp. In the past, we frequently mixed up the two, but now we are usually correct. We believe this is a Blue Mud Wasp, Chalybion californicum, which if profiled on BugGuide where it is described as: “A large, active, blue-black wasp with irridescent blue wings. Frequents flowers for nectar and buildings for nest sites. Compare “Steel-Blue Cricket Hunter”, (or “Blue Mud Dauber”), Chlorion aerarium, which preys on crickets. This is about the same size as Chalybion, and is said to have a longer pedicel (narrow waist between thorax and abdomen). The body of Chalybion looks much more hairy, and more steely-blue, based on specimen photos.“ BugGuide also indicates: “Females construct mud nests in sheltered areas, often under the eaves of buildings, and provision them with spiders. Sometimes refurbishes the nests of other mud-daubers, such as Sceliphron.” We love that you have abbreviated your photos as “BMW”.
Thank you so much for the identification. I kept going back and forth and finally just had
to ask the experts!
Awesome James. Be sure to let us know what the experts think.