Scarab Hunter Wasp

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

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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