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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



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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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This stealthy wasp is a diligent predator of crickets which are needed to feed young wasps.



Updated: 09/01/2020; 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
Flying insect icon
Shiny insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Sphecidae
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          Genus: Chlorion
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            Species: aerarium
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Chlorion aerarium
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 25mm (0.78" to 0.98")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: blue; black
Descriptors: metallic; black wings; iridescent; shiny; purple
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 20mm and 25mm
Lo: 20mm
Md: 22.5mm
Hi: 25mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Steel-blue Cricket Hunter 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 Steel-blue Cricket Hunter. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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