The parasitic Five-banded Thynnid Wasp is good news for flowers, but bad news for beetles.
This medium-sized yellow and black wasp is highly beneficial because it preys on a variety of beetles that destroy trees and flowers. Males have a pseudo-stinger at the tip of their abdomen, while females have the real thing. The wings of males are brown while female wings have an orange hue. The offspring of the Five-banded Thynnid Wasp is the generation that actively benefits plants. A female wasp lays a fertilized egg on a May Beetle larva while it is still buried in the ground. May Beetle larvae feed on the roots of plants, interrupting water and nutrient flow to the rest of the plant. This can lead to stress and death in young plants and grasses. The wasp larva hatches and immediately invades the beetle where it slowly eats it from the inside out, eventually killing it. The wasp larva then matures into adulthood in early summer. As is the case sometimes in nature, this wasp is, itself, a victim of one of its own kind. Velvet Ants, which are really wasps in disguise, eat Thynnid wasp larvae.
Adults drink nectar from flowers. They have caused minor leaf damage to trees, but not enough to harm the tree. This species can be found in gardens, meadows, fields, or on lawns.
Scientific Name: Myzinum quinquecintum
Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 30mm to 35mm (1.17in to 1.37in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees and Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.