Currently viewing the category: "Pelecinids"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp with quite a tail!
Location: Waynesville, NC
August 24, 2017 6:35 am
Hey bug folks! I saw this cool wasp while enjoying the eclipse on the blue ridge parkway near Waynesville NC. I’ve never seen one with such an elaborate tail and figured you all could tell me more!
Signature: Thanks, Mike

American Pelicinid

Dear Mike,
This is an American Pelecinid,
Pelecinus polyturator, the only member of its family in North America, according to BugGuide where it states:  “One North American genus with only one species.”  We have gotten numerous comments submitted this year reporting sightings.  This is a female American Pelecinid.  The male has a much smaller abdomen.  The female uses her long abdomen to lay eggs underground where her young will parasitize Scarab Beetle Grubs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flying stinger bug
Location: Denver Colorado
August 18, 2017 12:31 pm
Hi what kind of bug is this??
Signature: Matt

American Pelecinid

Dear Matt,
Comments on American Pelecinid postings on our site are up this year, but your image of an American Pelecinid is the first submission we have received in quite some time of this harmless, parasitoid that preys upon the grubs of June Beetles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please can you help me to identify this?
Location: South América Ecuador Pichincha near LLoa “town”
August 12, 2015 9:54 pm
Hi thank you so much for reading this. I was wondering if you. can help me with this. I found this by a river in South América it was found in LLoa about 30 minutes from Quito the capital city of Ecuador. It was found on the. higlands at about 3000meters near the rainforest.
Signature: Ecuador identification

Pelecinid

Pelecinid

This is a Pelecinid, a parasitic wasp in the family Pelecinidae, and it is the first example we have ever received from outside North America.  According to BugGuide:  “One North American genus with only one species: Pelecinus polyturator Drury 1773. Worldwide, there is only one extant genus, Pelecinus, with three recognized species (Johnson and Musetti, 1999):
Pelecinus polyturator (North America, Central America, South America)
Pelecinus thoracicus (western Mexico)
Pelecinus dichrous (South America)
The family was much more diverse during the Mesozoic era (Beetles in the Bush).”
We are not certain which of the South American species your individual represents.  Pelecinids prey upon the subterranean larvae of Scarab Beetles, and the female uses her long, flexible abdomen to lay eggs underground in proximity to the Scarab larva.  Beetles in the Bush has a very nice posting on the genus with this information:  “
Pelecinus polyturator is the only North American member of the family Pelecinidae, which itself contains only two additional species that are restricted to Mexico and Central/South America. It wasn’t always this way—fossils assignable to the family and representing 43 species in a dozen genera have been found as far back as the early Cretaceous (121–124 mya) across North America, Europe, and Asia (Grimaldi & Engel 2005). Surely this represents just the tip of the iceberg of Mesozoic and early Cenozoic pelecinid diversity, making today’s three species the last representatives of a once great lineage—’living fossils’ some might say.”

Thank you so much for your answer!
I will definitely make a donation for you guys.
thank you again.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: At lake george
Location: Lake george, NY
August 9, 2015 6:29 am
I saw this at lake george area. Does not look like a scorpionfly . Never seen these in pictures either
Signature: Rehan

American Pelecinid

American Pelecinid

Dear Rehan,
This is an American Pelecinid, a parasitic wasp that uses its long abdomen to lay eggs on or near subterranean Scarab Beetle Larvae which serve as food for the developing Pelecinid larva.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flying Scorpion? Panorpa nuptialis?
Location: Fort Collins, CO
August 22, 2014 2:30 pm
I found this yesterday in an old pot.
Live in Fort Collins, CO.
I am afraid I killed it, even though it bothered me to do so, but it looked somewhat dangerous!
Have never seen anything like this! A friend in Mexico sent me news of Panorpa nuptialis… “flying scorpion” but I am not sure it is enough similar…
Ideas?
Signature: mes

American Pelecinid

American Pelecinid

Dear mes,
This is an American Pelecinid,
Pelecinus polyturator, the only member of its family in the continental United States.  This parasitic wasp uses its long abdomen to deposit eggs underground in the proximity of Scarab Beetle Grubs which the larval wasps eat.  American Pelecinids are not known to sting, but whenever we write that an insect is harmless, or not aggressive, someone writes in to dispute us.  In our opinion, this beneficial insect was killed unnecessarily, and we are tagging the posting as Unnecessary Carnage and we hope that you will be understanding if you encounter another American Pelecinid.  This is most definitely not a Scorpionfly, which is how Panorpa nuptialis is classified.

THANK YOU for this post, and for the education.
I am generally not squeamish around insects (having lived 17 years of my adult life in Mexico) and I sincerely regret falling into the “ew” category with this American Pelecinid. I was feeling mother bear I think…
Thank you so much for the identification which I will post around to try to atone for having lost this one!
Thanks for the good work you do
Mes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bugs
Location: broken bow, oklahoma
October 21, 2013 6:35 am
I found this bug outside my garage window. I trapped it in a glass bowl. After taking a photo I let it go. I have not been able to find out what it is and I was hoping you could.
Signature: Christian Tyler Short

American Pelecinid

American Pelecinid

Hi Christian,
This is a very excellent photo for identification purposes.  This is a female American Pelecinid, a parasitic wasp that pushes its long abdomen into the ground to lay eggs on the grubs of Scarab Beetles.  The beetle grub provides food for the developing American Pelecinid larva.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination