Curled up tail and wings
Sat, May 9, 2009 at 5:57 PM
This bug was found outside, in the twin cities metro are of Minnesota. The size of the bug was rather small, a few centimeters. I hope the image is good enough for you to see and hopefully figure out what it is.
The very unique American Pelecinid, Pelecinus polyturator, is not likely to be confused with any other North American insect. Your specimen is a female, and she uses her unusual abdomen to parasitize the grubs of scarab beetles. According to BugGuide: “Parasitoids of insect larvae that feed on decomposing wood, etc. These include larvae of scarab beetles, esp. May Beetles ( Phyllophaga ). Also reported to parasitize wood-boring insects. Female thrusts ovipositor into soil to detect host, lays one egg on each. Pelecinid larva burrows into the beetle larva, killing it. Wasp larva scavenges remains and pupates there in soil. ” BugGuide also indicates this surprising information: “In North American populations, males are rare, and reproduction is apparently largely by parthenogenesis (Brues, 1928). In tropical populations (or species), males are more abundant.” Lastly, BugGuide also states: “Typically August-September. Reported July-August (Minnesota), June-September (North Carolina)” which could make this early sighting another indication of global warming. Insects are often quite adaptable, and changes in their habit force them to adjust quickly as their life cycles are generally less than a year.