Subject: Pygodasis ephippium wagneriana
Geographic location of the bug: Ecuador
Time: 10:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman : It’s dead so I can take tons of pics for more research.
How you want your letter signed: Paola Davalos
This is definitely a wasp in the family Scoliidae, sometimes called Digger Wasps. Scoliid Wasps prey on the grubs of Scarab Beetles. This might be Pygodasis ephippium, The Giant Scoliid Wasp, which is pictured on Project Noah where it states: “A truly monstrous wasp measuring 4 cm in length! This is a Scollid wasp, often called Digger Wasps. They have a characteristically corrugated pattern on the tips of the wings (2nd picture). These are parasitic on Scarab larvae under ground, tunneling down to the larva to lay her egg on its body. Some will make a side chamber to store the larva while her own offspring grows. Because of her size, she must parasitize one of the larger scarab species. She also has enormous mandibles (1st & 5th pictures) for handling the larva underground. This species has two large orange-red bands on the abdomen and is otherwise entirely black. This is the 4th individual I have seen over the past 30 years. These have been reported from the southern US, Mexico, Central America and northern South America “
Hi again Paola,
We would love to hear any updates you get from the University biology center. You may post comments directly to the online posting.