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Steel-blue Cricket Hunter (Chlorion aerarium)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Steel-blue Cricket Hunter.




This stealthy wasp is a diligent predator of crickets which are needed to feed young wasps.



 Updated: 9/1/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




This metallic blue-colored wasp is sleek and shiny with a skinny waist. The wings are dark with iridescence similar to an oil slick. The female hunts a cricket, paralyzing it with a sting, and then takes it back to her nest in order to have food on hand for when her eggs hatch. Nests are often built off of the burrows of another hunting wasp, the Cicada Killer, in regions where they both reside. These two wasps do not compete with each other thanks to different insect prey. Each cell in the underground nest contains a fertilized egg and potentially up to nine or ten nymphs or adult crickets. Grasshoppers may also be used.

Adult wasps drink flower nectar and are often seen in proximity to where crickets live. Areas like backyard lawns, meadows, coastal areas, and overgrown lots. This means they are also likely to be in areas where people traverse. It is not known as an aggressive wasp and seems too busy preparing for its own brood to take notice anyone else.


General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Shiny insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Sphecidae [ View More ]
          Genus: Chlorion [ View More ]
            Species: aerarium
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Descriptors
Scientific Name: Chlorion aerarium
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 25mm (0.78in to 0.98in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: blue; black
Descriptors: metallic; black wings; iridescent; shiny; purple
Relative Size Comparison
Lo: 20mm | Hi: 25mm
Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
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.
Territorial Map
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
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Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of both a bee and an ant insect
1
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
2
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
3
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
5
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees, & Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.