Currently viewing the category: "Scoliid Wasps"
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Bee fly
Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 9:55 AM
I racked my brain trying to figure out what species bee this is, only to find out it’s not a bee at all. I’m still having trouble determining which genius it is. It has a very bright orange color. And is about the same size as a Bumble Bee.
Sincerely, Audrey Wilkison
Long Island, New York

Scoliid Wasp

Scoliid Wasp

Hi Audrey,
This is a Scoliid Wasp, a family of wasps that parasitizes the grubs of Scarab Beetles, especially June Beetles.  Scoliid Wasps are large, robust, hairy wasps. Your photos are quite blurry, so we are not certain of the exact species identification, but we believe this may be Scolia nobilitata which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, its “Range Includes southeastern United States. Noted from Illinois, West Virginia, North Carolina, south Florida.”   We would have eliminated the larger Campsomeris quadrimaculata because BugGuide indicates it is found “Throughout Southeastern United States,” yet there is  one report on BugGuide from New Jersey and it was in June.  Again, your photos look too blurry to be certain, but we believe your specimen looks more like Campsomeris quadrimaculata, and the sighting from New Jersey makes that a distinct possibility.

Scoliid Wasp

Scoliid Wasp

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Washed ashore ?
Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 12:22 PM
I was walking down Vince beach, FL in the begining of March. I see many different inscets lying in the sand, but this particular one I have never seen before. Iwas woundering what kind of insect it is and what is the use of its large mandibles.
Chris Franklin
vince,fl

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Hi Chris,
This is a Scarab Hunter Wasp in the genus Campsomeris. BugGuide has this remark: “According to Nick Fensler: The females Campsomeris as well as other members of the subfamily Campsomerinae are predators on white grubs (Scarabaeidae), using these larvae as food for their young. Unlike sphecids, eumenines, and pompilids these wasps do not appear to have any type of prey transportation and dig to the ground-dwelling beetle larvae, sting it to paralyze it, and then lay an egg. They may dig around the grub to form a small cell. Since they use this nesting strategy they are often seen flying low to the ground (searching) in a figure eight pattern (but the flight pattern gets more erratic when they “smell” something). The adults use nectar as a food source and are common on flowers.” We are confident your specimen is Campsomeris quadrimaculata, a robust wasp with a distinctly marked abdomen, which is well documented on BugGuide including many sightings from Florida.

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Black bodied, blue winged wasp like bug
Hey bug people,
I’ve found lots of bugs on your site but this one has got me so far. Lots of these fly around our tomatoes here in Australia. I’ve had tomatoes before but never saw these before. They seemed too big to be a black flower wasp (that and they leave our regular flowers alone). They have bright blue wings and eyes with black bodies. They constantly move so this was a clear a shot as I could get. Thanks
Peter

Hi Peter,
We suspect these are Blue Flower Wasps or Hairy Flower Wasps, Discolia soror, based on images posted to the Geocities Website. They are in the family SCOLIIDAE Scoliidae. Adult Blue Flower Wasps are nectar feeders and the larvae feed on Scarab Beetle Grubs. The female wasp locates the beetle grubs in the soil, digs down and lays an egg on the grub. The Csiro Website (which refers to this species as the Black Flower Wasp) indicates: “Black flower wasps are solitary and do not make communal nests. However, in mid to late summer, they often form small swarms flying low over an area of turf, a compost heap or around a shrub. The adults can also be seen taking nectar from flowers.”

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What’s this bug???
We have been watching quite a few of these in our back yard but they never stop long enough to photograph until today when I watched one bury a big grub. They don’t appear to be aggressive but looks like some kind of wasp? (And no it is not dead in the second picture, it was actually burrowing a hole!) Would love some info. Thanks
Maria

Hi Maria,
Wow, what wonderful images of a Scoliid Wasp burying a Scarab Beetle Grub. We are not sure of the species and plan to immediately research this. We only wish you had provided us with a location. It looks like it might be the genus Scolia, but BugGuide does not show any solid black bodies. Scoliid Wasps are large, hairy, robust wasps that prey on Scarab Beetle Grubs. The female digs a burrow and buries the Grub, laying an egg. the wasp larva is an external parasite on the beetle grub. Adult Scoliid Wasps take nectar. Though he could not substantiate the species identification, Eric Eaton did provide the following natural history clarification: ” Daniel: I can’t tell you anything about the identification, but the life history needs clarification. Scoliid wasp females simply dig up a scarab grub, sting it into submission, lay a single egg on it, and maybe cover it up before fleeing the scene. The scarab grub can at least partially revive and go about its business, but is doomed….The adult female wasp does not prepare a burrow or anything, like most sphecid wasps, spider wasps, etc. Eric “

We live in Engadine, a southern suburb of Sydney, Australia

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What is this Bug?
I found this bug near Oracle Az. Was wondering what it is.

Hi,
We believe your beautiful Red Tailed Wasp is a Digger Wasp, Scolia dubia. The female digs a nest in the ground and provisions it with beetle larvae. We will contact Eric Eaton who lives in Arizona to see if he can confirm our identification. Here is what Eric has to say: ” Hi, Daniel: I think Earthlink owes you an explanation! I mean a ‘better’ one:-) Geez. Hey, feel free to divert folks to Bugguide where they can “post their own,” if that would help you any. The wasp: Right genus, but wrong species. It is a male (long, straight antennae, small body) Scolia ardens. They are quite common right now. I have taken them on blooming eucalyptus here in town, and blooming salt cedar in another part of the county. I almost miss hearing from you so often:-( Keep up the great work. Eric”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination