Scoliidae

These wasps are 20-50 mm long, and are usually black with patterns of red, yellow, and white on the abdomen. The larvae are parasitic on the grubs of scarab beetles, particularly species of Phyllophaga. Courtship of some species, such as Sco-lia dubia, consists of large numbers of both sexes flying low over the ground; egg-laying begins soon after mating. Females have spiny legs adapted for burrowing into soil where they seek large Coleoptera larvae, usually Scarabaeidae. When the host larva is contacted, the female stings and paralyzes it. The venom of Scoliidae contains kinins, which apparently block portions of the insect nervous system. After the host is paralyzed, the female lays an egg on it. In some cases, the female drags the paralyzed host into a crude cell she made in the soil before ovipositing. Females lay i-2 eggs per day for about 2 months. Larval development is completed in about 1 week and there are three larval stages. At the end of larval development, a cocoon is spun in or near the host, and the pupal period is about 3 weeks.

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