Absolutely fascinating website! I spent way too much time on it today… here is a picture of a weird guy that has been visiting us almost everyday for about a week. Weird thing is, he always shows up around the same time, hanging out in the same spot, acting the same way! I’m convinced he is an alien life form, because he seems to have super-intelligence. I swear, he is observing us! He is about 2 1/2 inches long and his body looks black, but is actually a pretty vibrant navy or cobalt blue. I checked out your site and I think he’s one of three possible species: 1. cuckoo wasp, because of his coloring. But, I am in San Diego and I’m not sure if a cuckoo wasp would live this far south. 2. maybe a tarantula wasp? Maybe not, because he does not seem to be aggressive and he has no orange coloring at all. Lastly, I beleive it could be 3. a soliatary was p, due to his bizarre behavior (a previous person wrote to you stating that her bug was watching her, not simply reacting to her movement) and overall look. But my friend seems bigger that the previous descriptions of solitary wasps. He was chomping on a cricket, if that helps, My three-year-old daughter is absolutely enamored with him… and he doesn’t seem to mind her persence..should I be concerned? Can they bite or are they poisonous? Thanks, I’m sure I’ll be referring to your website a lot in the future!
Thank you for the sweet letter. This is a Wasp, one of the Cricket Hunters in the genus Chlorion. Our best guess thanks to your detailed letter is Chlorion aerarium. This is a large wasp, though not a large as you state. It grows to 1 1/8 inches according to our sources. Adults will feed on juices from crickets as your letter states. The female also digs a burrow provisioned with crickets for her offspring. That is probably why you see her in the same area. She is probably working on her nursery, a deep tunnel.