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

Subject: Strange bug
Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
August 4, 2012 11:31 pm
Hi, I have never taken a photo of a bug before but this one was something I have never seen before. This bug was walking on my car on a cool summer day (August 4, 2012) in Grand Forks, North Dakota. We never have ”strange” bugs here because of the harsh winters (I think) so when I saw this I guess I kind of freaked out.
Signature: Mrs. Reiser

American Pelecinid

Dear Mrs. Reiser,
This is a female American Pelecinid, and your description of it being “strange” is very appropriate since it is the only member of its family found in North America.  The female American Pelecinid uses her long, flexible abdomen to lay eggs underground on or close to the subterranean grubs of June Beetles.  The American Pelecinid is classified as a parasitic Hymenopteran, an insect order that contains wasps and bees, however the American Pelecinid does not sting and is not a threat to humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp?
Location: Central Michigan
July 27, 2012 10:33 pm
A quick survey brought some suggestions… one of which was an ichneumon wasp. Are we right? This guy landed of the window of our business after a nasty hail storm today in Six Lakes, Michigan.
Signature: Gina

American Pelecinid

Hi Gina,
Ichneumon Wasp is a good guess, but not correct.  This American Pelecinid is the only member of its family found in North America, and like the Ichneumon, it is a parasitic Hymenopteran.  The female uses her long abdomen to deposit eggs underground and the larvae feed upon the grubs of June Beetles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Crazy winged insect
Location: Central New York
August 18, 2011 2:18 pm
Please help me identify this bug. Thank you so much for your time. Your website is great. I love clicking around. Thanks again.
Signature: -p

American Pelecinid

Dear -p,
This is the first photo we have received of the distinctive American Pelecinid this year.  It is the only member of its family in the U.S..  She is equipped with a long jointed abdomen that can locate the grubs of June Beetles underground.  She lays an egg on each grub she locates and the larval wasp feeds parasitically on a living creature until it is dead.  The American Pelecinid larva then pupates among the remains of the grub in the underground chamber the Scarab grub has created for feeding on the roots of grasses. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black Bug with Scorpion-like Tail
Location:  Delevan, NY (Western end of NY)
September 11, 2010 8:10 pm
Just wondering if you can identify this bug! I’ve never seen anything like it…
Signature:  Amy

American Pelecinid

Dear Amy,
First we want to compliment you on the quality and detail in your photograph.  This is an American Pelecinid, the only member of its family native to North America.  This Parasitoid Wasp is a female and she uses her long abdomen to deposit her eggs underground near the burrows of June Beetle Grubs that are feeding on roots.  The wasp larvae feed on the beetle grubs.  It is unlikely that the American Pelecinid will ever be confused with another North American insect because it is so distinctive in its shape.

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

What is this bug?
Location:  Madison, Maine
August 7, 2010 12:01 pm
Hi, I am in Maine and have an outside light on my garage. In the mornings, I find many interesting bugs, however, this one is very unusual to me.
Jeff Brazier

American Pelecinid

Hi Jeff,
This very distinctive insect is a Parasitoid Hymenopteran known as an American Pelecinid.  Your individual is a female, and she uses her flexible abdomen to lay eggs underground where they can parasitize the grubs of June Beetles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination