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Scoliid Wasp (Campsomeris plumipes fossulana)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Scoliid Wasp



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Image Credit: Sarah Towne, DO, MS
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Image Credit: Sarah Towne, DO, MS
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The Scoliid Wasp is 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.



Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Making use of work done by beetle grubs, female Scoliid wasps are not ashamed to cut corners to maximize reproductive success. Beetle grubs dig underground to feed on roots and to 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 grub does not survive.

Male and female adults do not look identical to each other though their markings are similar. The black abdomen has rugged bands of yellow that look like distant mountain ranges painted on a midnight sky. Males are more slender while females have a plumper abdomen. Both can be found visiting flowers presumably to drink nectar.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Insect stinger icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Scoliidae
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          Genus: Campsomeris
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            Species: plumipes fossulana
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Campsomeris plumipes fossulana
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 25mm (0.59" to 0.98")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, yellow
Descriptors: flying, stinging, parasitic
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 25mm (1.0in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 20mm
Hi: 25mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Scoliid Wasp may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Scoliid Wasp. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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