Mammoth wasps

1 rue to their name, these are very large wasps, with stout bodies. They have dark coloration: bluish black with reddish brown markings. The ends of the wings, which may be clear, smoky, metallic blue, or orangish, appear finely wrinkled. The body is densely covered with dark or gold-colored hair. Male mammoth wasps are smaller and slimmer than the females and have longer, thicker antennae. In both sexes, there is a noticeable notch on the inside margin of the eye.

• LlFF CYCMi After mating, females hunt through leaf litter or dig under the ground in search of the larvae of scarab beetles to use as hosts. Once found, the female wasp stings and paralyzes a beetle larva and lays a single egg on the outside. When the wasp larva emerges, it consumes the beetle larva and pupates inside a tough cocoon that it spins alongside the host's remains.

• occl JKKKNCK Worldwide, mainly in tropical regions. In various habitats, where scarab hosts occur.

black-and-yellow body coloration

SCOUA VARHdATA is found in parts of South America. It has distinctive black-and-yellow coloring to warn off predators.

males have three short spines at end of abdomen stout legs for digging soil fine wrinkles at •nd of wings hairy legs

SCOUA RROCI R comes from Java, Borneo, and Sumatra. Members of this genus arc not especially aggressive but may sting painfully if handled carelessly.

forewings larger than hindwings

\ i kl s i distinct notch in eye margin stout body

matte-black body purplish blue metallic sheen on brown wings two long spines at end of tibia broad head short, curved antennae stout front legs • for digging through soil

evenly colored amber wings with no patterning long, robust legs on abdomen thorax and head female has stouter body than male, as in all mammoth wasps

SCOUA I'l.RECRINA comcs from Peru. Its colored wings have a metallic sheen. I .ike all mammoth wasps, its female has a stout body and strong front legs.

broad head evenly colored amber wings with no patterning long, robust legs on abdomen

A SCOUA HYAIJNA, found in Brazil, is typical of its family and has a distinctive notch on the inside edge of its eye. The ocelli are characteristic of the order -three simple eyes in a triangular formation on the top of the head.

distinct notch in eye margin stout body

-• shiny thorax matte-black body short, curved antennae thorax and head female has stouter body than male, as in all mammoth wasps

-• shiny head purplish blue metallic sheen on brown wings two long spines at end of tibia stout front legs • for digging through soil

0rder hymenoptera

Family SPHECIDAE

No. of species ^ qaq dlggkr wasps

Some digger species are known as solitary hunting wasps, sand wasps, or mud dauber wasps. Relatively hairless and often brightly colored, they are found in many forms. They are all solitary and nest in plant stems, soil, or rotten wood. Some nest inside insect burrows. Not all species actually dig a nest. • LIFE CYCLE Typically, a female catches an insect or a spider, paralyzes it, and takes it to a prepared nest, where it is buried - along with a wasp egg - for the emerging larva to eat. There may be one or several prey items, or prey may be added as the larvae grow. A few species lay eggs in the nest of other digger wasps. •()<:< :i RREN< l Worldw ide. In .1 range of habitats.

OCllLORION LOR ATI M is found in Southeast Asia. It parasitizes crickets, which it drags to a burrow. It lays a single egg before scaling the burrow.

i .arvae taper at both ends and arc mainly white, with stout mandibles.

wings held flat over body

OCllLORION LOR ATI M is found in Southeast Asia. It parasitizes crickets, which it drags to a burrow. It lays a single egg before scaling the burrow.

metallic-green body and head

i .arvae taper at both ends and arc mainly white, with stout mandibles.

wings held flat over body

strong mandibles and legs grip the weev il tightly

AAMWFFX species are cockroach-hunters that may enter houses in search of their quarry. This genus comes from tropical parts of the world.

yellow body markings wasp stings weevil % on underside of abdomen

Cl.RCFRIS AR FN ARIA, the VVecvil-luinting Wasp, catches weevils and paralyzes them with its sting. The weevils are buried in wasp burrows, in which the wasp then lays its eggs.

AAMWFFX species are cockroach-hunters that may enter houses in search of their quarry. This genus comes from tropical parts of the world.

strong mandibles and legs grip the weev il tightly weevil <

yellow body markings wasp stings weevil % on underside of abdomen weevil <

/<.DITIIA MAGNIIICA, from Brazil, is a very brightly marked insect that specializes in catching butterflies, mainly of the family Pieridac (see p. 177)

Cl.RCFRIS AR FN ARIA, the VVecvil-luinting Wasp, catches weevils and paralyzes them with its sting. The weevils are buried in wasp burrows, in which the wasp then lays its eggs.

0rder HYMKNOPTKRA

Family XlPHIIDAK

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