What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dragonfly looking insect, with inverted scorpion tail
Location:  Lakewood, CO
August 12, 2010 3:59 am
Hi, I live in Colorado, and came home to find an all black, skinny insect. This bug, looks like a dragonfly, with a long, skinny, inverted, segmented scorpion-like tail, the mid and hind legs, looked like the bug has big calves, the wings were a see-through black, the head was small, with a larger thorax, 3 sets of legs, and two antennae.
Creepily awaitng

American Pelecinid

Dear Creepily awaitng,
This is a parasitoid wasp known as an American Pelecinid that preys upon the subterranean grubs of June Beetles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

81 Responses to American Pelecinid

  1. Jestun T says:

    We just found one here in Bagley, Minnesota. At first glance I thought it was crazy scary, so it was killed. whoops

  2. Natasha says:

    My friend found one in Canada

  3. Gene Sibray says:

    We found one of these while building our deck on the back of our home in Bremen Indiana. Kinda freaked they guys out who were building our deck…..Really funny to see a bunch of grown men freak out over such a small insect….However, it does look creepy and dangerous.

  4. Parker Desroche says:

    I just found one of these in Prince Edward Island, Canada tonight. It sure was creepy looking and coming too close to my infant son for my liking- so it was killed… Oooops!
    Glad to hear it’s not harmful to humans. I’ll know if I see one again.

    • Anonymat says:

      This is so interesting. I’ve been fascinated by insects my entire life and had never seen or heard of this one before.

      I was in PEI (Cavendish) this weekend also and saw one. Immediately searched the internet for classification and saw your comment.

  5. Crazy Sven says:

    I wanted to be an entomologist when I was younger and I always laugh at people who are afraid of or disgusted by bugs … however; I was vacuuming my bedroom tonight and this horrific looking creature was writhing on the carpet arching its back and stabbing with its incredibly long and dangerous looking abdomen. This summer, we have been seeing some unusual insects for the Northeastern U.S. and this thing freaked me out. I thought this hellish creature looked like a winged scorpion and although my first temptation was to vacuum the damn thing up, I gave in to my scientific sensibilities, captured it and looked it up online. In my Google search, I used the keywords “scorpion, ant, wasp, spider, wings” and found it here on your site. Seeing as it kills June-bug larvae, I’m keeping it in my killing jar as a specimen. I kind of like June-bugs!

  6. LilyC says:

    We just found one in our yard. ON Canada

  7. Marina Fata says:

    While watering my garden I noticed what I thought was a winged scorpion. I am afraid it met an untimely death. Since then I have found two more on my deck both joined their brethren. I guess knowing their usefulness (hate
    junebugs) I will be careful not to harm anymore.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Just saw one in my yard in Owings, Maryland

  9. Susan Shepherf says:

    My daughter saw one land on her window & it freaked her out so I took a picture of it & found it on your site. We’re in New Brunswick, Canada

  10. Marilyn Matthews says:

    Saw this today on my brothers veranda in Cape Breton !Nova Scotia..Looks like a skinny scorpion,weird looking.

  11. sharon says:

    We found one in Cape breton island canada

  12. Sarah says:

    Just found one of these guys on my front porch (NE Missouri)! Very odd and had to know what it was.

  13. Jessica McFadden says:

    We just found a momma with her baby on my sisters back yard tree here in Thornton Colorado

  14. Matthew McDonald says:

    Just saw one about 5 minutes ago down in La Vergne, TN.

  15. Angie Conklin says:

    Found already-dead being pulled by ants going into their sandhill home in Wisconsin today.

  16. Stephen says:

    Just found one in Fredericton NB.

    • Matt says:

      Yep, in Fredericton too, and seem to have quite a few under my apple tree… Never saw them before this summer and now have seen a bunch.

  17. Stephen says:

    Dang I freaked out when I saw one on our flower put today. That tall loomed dripping with poison. . . Lol gotta so watching scary movies. Denver CO

  18. Ian says:

    Those Things can be killed by just getting their tail cut off. I learned that the hard way…

  19. Sharon Petersen says:

    The reason I Google this is I found one in Minneapolis Minnesota and it creeped me out but luckily I let it live. At first I thought it was just a dragonfly and then I saw it still curl up like a scorpion …creepy. at least they didn’t scream like the guys

  20. Chris says:

    We just seen one here in the up of michign.

  21. Howard Reed says:

    Down here in good ol’ Georgia

  22. Barry M says:

    I have seen around a dozen of these around the yard here in Gagetown New Brunswick … Never saw one before … Google sent me here too !
    Looks like a black scorpion tailed mini-dragonfly / wasp !

  23. Frankie says:

    They are plentiful here in Halifax, Nova Scotia this year. First time we’ve seen them was a couple months ago and now as summer progresses we see a few everyday in our yard.

    • bugman says:

      The female lays her eggs where they will hatch near May Beetle grubs that are living below the surface of the soil. During years when prey is plentiful, populations of predators also increase.

  24. D. Newton says:

    Just found one in our swimming pool in South Carolina.

  25. Jean-Marc says:

    This morning got one like this on my car (Montreal, Quebec), at first it was kind of creepy and scary, my 3 yrs old son was really amazed by it so we just let fly away.

  26. Shannon says:

    Just saw one on my car windshield in North Carolina. Creeped me out I just froze googled it then looked up and it was gone. Never seen one before and I’m out in the country I’ve seen all types but nothing like this 😭

  27. Randall D Harrison says:

    had one fly in my house in ohio

  28. Kanwal says:

    I found one in my backyard Ontario, Canada. then I saw this page. Glad to know it is not harmful.

  29. Shirley says:

    We’ve been seeing these for the first time ever in the London, Ontario (Canada) area. I say for the first time because I’m 63 years old and have never seen anything like them. My daughter just removed and set free, one that was hanging out on my wall and we have seen one at her place, too. Beyond creepy! We didn’t know if that scorpion tail would sting us or not, so glad to know it’s not after humans. And it is very welcome to eat our grubs. 🙂

  30. Imangination says:

    We found one on our dining window in National City MI. Did a search for dragon fly with scorpion tale and was directed here. Great to know it eats junebug larva… can’t stand those Beatles lol. Thanks Bugman for the info. This lil guy is safe here today.

  31. Elizabeth Stark says:

    Have seen a couple here in SouthEastern PEI….. Interesting for sure, NOT that pretty !

  32. Dawn says:

    So far this summer I have seen 6 of these while camping in the Adirondack Mt’s near Saranac Lake NY.

  33. Ron S says:

    Northern Indiana…..Just saw one of these for the first time in my 50 years on this earth. It’s a creepy looking wasp but aren’t they all? Anyways, it’s good to see something different in the area I live.

  34. Linda says:

    Just saw one in Ohio, didn’t know what it was, but I sure have plenty of June bugs for it to eat.

  35. Kelli White says:

    One of these just fell in my sisters margarita passed out than woke up. Lol. We are in Massachusetts

  36. Travis Stephen Tait says:

    Saw one today in Toronto, Canada. So cool I had to take pictures.

  37. Alexis says:

    We found one of these in mid August in Southern Ontario, Canada.

  38. L Borne says:

    One was on my deck table in Amherst NS . Creepy looking insect !

  39. Lisa says:

    I just saw one on the side of my garage, next to the door when I was bringing our puppy back inside. I freaked out and grabbed him because he loves to eat bugs 😝. I have seen some pretty creepy bugs in our area lately, but this one definitely takes the cake. (Near Pittsburgh, PA.)
    Thanks for sharing!

  40. Kerry says:

    Interior camping in East side of Algonquin Park on Sec Lake last weekend. Found one of these guys, and like many before me, I stepped on it and now feel terrible. Glad I researched it so I know for the future.

  41. david says:

    found one Winnipeg Manitoba sitting on the box of my truck caught it and searched for it and was sent to your site question it bite by one what would happen

  42. Wendy says:

    We have a lot of these in PEI. I watched one today carrying long pieces of dried grass on strand at a time and pulling it up under my outside windowsill, I’m assuming it was making a nest.

  43. Amy says:

    Saw one today for the first time in Hammonds Plains, NS, Canada. Creepy looking thing 🙁

  44. Jim Ledoux says:

    Saw one on my JD Tractor windshield while working in the bush just outside Rockland, Ontario. It did freak me out so I had to find out if it was dangerous…glad to hear that it’s not after humans. Sept 2, 2017

  45. Peggy Estabrooks says:

    Just found one in New.
    Brunswick Canada…are they invasive?

  46. Pam says:

    Just found one in Davisburg, Michigan. Yes, they are creepy not knowing if they are harmful or not. Glad to find your post here. Thanks!

  47. Shirley says:

    Today we found one on our widow! We had to google to find out where it is from! Never seen one before. N.S.

  48. Shirley Boberg says:

    I just saw one here in Penobscot County, Hampden, Maine in my yard.
    Are they dangerous?

  49. Natasha K says:

    We found one , well, it was a large and skinny insect, on a ferry going to Vinalhaven, Maine. Is the American Pelecinid large?

  50. Gary Palmer says:

    Just found one in rural Farmington, Iowa.

  51. Kay says:

    Had one try to hitch a ride on my soda can while we were out boating on a lake just north of Duluth, MN. Very interesting insect. Looked menacing, but it flew off when I shooed it away.

  52. John Maloney says:

    Saw one today on my RV in Bar Harbor ME. Thought it was a cross between an ant, scorpion and a dragonfly.

  53. justme says:

    Seen many in Grand-Falls NB Canada

  54. Vince says:

    A bunch here in Hibbing, MN. Figured it killed mosquitoes so we leave them alone. 👍

  55. Percy Long says:

    Found one on my dad’s house in Sherman Maine.

  56. Steve Stewart says:

    Had one trying to stick me in my leg with its tale,well it’s dead now,scary looking found in ontario

  57. John Hamlin says:

    Found one in Madison Maine. Glad I found out what it is. Happy to know that it will be eating June bugs.

  58. Shirley says:

    Found this bug in the yard this morning. The first I have ever seen in my 80 odd years on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Did not kill it and took a picture of it to find out what it is. Glad to know that it is not dangerous. August 21/19

  59. Snake charmer says:

    Just saw one here in Saginaw, Michigan flying on our porch while a storm rolled in. It’s still alive and doing what it’s supposed to do.

  60. lesley armstrong says:

    found one in my small animal water (outside dish for grounded animals) picked it up and carried it around thinking it was dead. about a half hour later it got up and left. have seen another one in the grass (which now i know why), i won’t kill anything on purpose, but glad to know more about them. just like mud wasps, bit creepy but glad i found out more on them. kitchener, ontario, canada

  61. Princess says:

    This thing can bite and they will swell up if your skin is sensitive. Very scary

  62. Autumn Burke says:

    We just had one on our w8ndshild up in Michigan.

  63. Joe says:

    Worthington, MN. Dawn on a warm, muggy morning after a day of rain. It landed next to me while I was working on my patio picnic table. Walked slowly around. Got lots of iPhone pics of it from a couple inches away. Short lifespan, evidently. When you mash them with a notebook. Oops.

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