Subject: flying all around my yard
Geographic location of the bug: northern indiana
Time: 10:51 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: dont seem to be a threat, flying just above the grass, there is a lot of them
How you want your letter signed: Joe
This is a solitary Scarab Hunter Wasp in the family Scoliidae, and they are not aggressive toward humans. Your individual, Scolia dubia, is commonly called a Blue Winged Wasp. According to BugGuide: “Adults take nectar, may also feed on juices from beetle prey. Larvae are parasites of scarab beetles, mainly June beetles and also the introduced Japanese beetle.” Since the grubs of both Japanese Beetles and June Beetles are injurious to cultivated plants and lawns, the presence of the Blue Winged Wasps is a good sign for your garden. BugGuide also states: “Males and females have a courtship dance, flying close to the ground in a figure-8 or S pattern. Females burrow into ground in search of grubs, especially those of Cotinis and Popillia japonica. She stings it and often burrows farther down, then constructs a cell and lays an egg on the host. Larva pupates and overwinters in a cocoon within the body of the host.” You may have witnessed the courtship dance.