Some sort of Dragonfly Species?
June 10, 2010
I was outside during mid afternoon doing some yard work, and out of the corner of my eye, this strange bug caught my attention. At first glance, it looked like a dragon fly, but it looked to odd to be one. It’s body appears to be much longer than a dragon fly. The body is also broken up into 5 segments and has what appears to be some type of stinger at the end of it’s body. It also kept arching it’s body up and down and you can see what I mean in the pictures. It was all black and had no distinctive markings or other colors. I also held it to get another good picture and from the head to the end of it’s tail was about 3 inches.
Buggy For Bugs
Detroit Michigan

American Pelecinid

Dear Buggy,
This is an American Pelecinid, the only member of its family in the continental U.S.  The American Pelecinid is a parasitoid wasp that preys upon the grubs of June Beetles that live underground.  Your specimen is a female and the female American Pelecinid uses her long jointed abdomen to lay an egg underground on or near a burrowing white beetle grub.  When the egg hatches, the larval Pelecinid feeds upon the grub.  We are presetting your letter to post live to our site between June 15 and June 23 as we will be in Ohio visiting mom for a week, and we want our readership to continue to get live daily postings in our absence.

Thank you for the fast response! It was most certainly an interesting bug and never have I seen that before. I was also surprised to learn that the American Pelecinid is part of the wasp family.

Location: Detroit, Michigan

6 Responses to American Pelecinid

  1. Marion says:

    Hi. Just saw one of these here in DC this lovely September evening. The tail was straight as it only alighted for a moment to get it description so I could post this comment and it was off again..Since my kids have grown out of toddlerhood, I have enjoyed gardening and finding so many new bugs to peak my curiosity has me doing a lot of searches. Thanks for your site!

  2. Rose york says:

    My friend had one of these on her windshield we live in Presque Isle Maine it was seen on September 7 the 2016 have they been seen in this area before & are they poisonous & do they bite or sting ?

  3. Kathryn says:

    Saw one today in the evening sunlight cleaning itself on an orange kayak, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It’s body and parts of its legs looked an iridescent blue in the sunlight and it was absolutely the most beautiful “wasp” I have ever seen. I got to watch it clean itself for a good 3 minutes… awesome. Not so awesome are the grubs I have in the lawn.

    • Sharon says:

      I had one in my yard after the hurricane, I always look to see what different type of species show up after a storm like that. creepy looking. Can you tell me are they a pest to be concerned about that may destroy grass or plants.

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