Subject: Scarab Hunter or Digger Wasp ID
Location: n. of Phoenix AZ @ Ben Avery Shooting Facility
April 9, 2017 6:09 pm
We wouldn’t have noticed this small critter except for the extremely active, almost demented, way it was scurrying around on the ground in no particular pattern. We didn’t see any others at any time during the week we were there. I tentatively identified it as some sort of digger wasp but your site offers a similar photo and identifies it as a scarab hunter wasp. The eyes in this appear quite blue, which doesn’t seem to match anything but perhaps that’s just a trick of the spring light (3/26/2017) in the unusually lush AZ desert. Thanks for any help in pinning down (painlessly, of course) an identification for this colorful creature…as well as all the enjoyment we get from your site along the way.
Signature: Anne J
Dear Anne J,
We love your image. We believe we have correctly identified it as a Dryudella species thanks to this BugGuide image. This little Wasp is in the family Crabronidae, which also includes Sand Wasps, including massive Cicada Killers, while Scarab Hunters are in the family Scoliidae. Many Crabronids prey upon members of the order Homoptera, and it seems this little beauty is no exception. According to BugGuide: “Prey: boxelder bug instars / Foothills species: stinkbug instars” which should make folks who are troubled by Boxelder Bugs and Stink Bugs quite happy. Because of its typical prey and because this genus does not appear to have a common name, we are promoting “Bug Hunter Wasp” as a fitting appellation.
Thank you so much! It does indeed look like the Dryudella photo on your link….right down to the description of the blue eyes. Now I just have to wonder what it’s prey was since we saw nary a boxelder bug nor stink bug while there. Of course, that doesn’t mean they weren’t there in the creosote and sunflowers.
We did see Arizona Blister Beetles and have a few decent photos. A quick search on bug guide didn’t bring them up but I’ll check later and if I don’t find them there already, I’ll load them. Use the same query form?
Thanks again, Anne & Wayne
Yes, please use our standard form for each new submission.