Scoliid Wasp (Campsomeris plumipes fossulana)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Scoliid Wasp, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 8/8/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Scoliid Wasps are a parasitic wasp that uses beetle grubs to feed it own young, even going so far as to use the grub's own lair for a nursery.
Making use of work done by beetle grubs, female Scoliid wasps are not ashamed to cut corners and maximize reproductive success. Beetle grubs dig underground to feed and pupate. Females find a tunnel and sting the beetle larva inside, paralyzing it. She then lays a fertilized egg vertically near the grub's rear. The wasp larva, once hatched, will feed on the immobile beetle larva until it grows and pupates, emerging as an adult wasp in the spring. The beetle does not survive.
Male and female adults do not look identical to each other though their markings are similar. Males are more slender while females have a plumper abdomen. Both can be found visiting flowers presumably to drink nectar.