Black with reddish orange abdomen, two large yellow spots. The larva is a hairless, legless white grub with a brown head, no eyes, one-segmented antennae, maxillary and labial palpi, and a slit-like silk gland on the labium. Males have longer antennae than females, and a pronglike pseudostinger.
much of the US except the northwest (map
) - Discoverlife
Range from the St. Laurence River down to Florida, and west to Arizona
Adults take nectar, may also feed on juices from beetle prey. Larvae are parasites of scarab beetles, mainly June beetles and also the introduced Japanese beetle.
Males and females have a courtship dance, flying close to the ground in a figure-8 or S pattern. Females burrow into ground in search of grubs, especially those of Cotinis
and Popillia japonica
. She stings it and often burrows farther down, then constructs a cell and lays an egg on the host. Larva pupates and overwinters in a cocoon within the body of the host. One generation per year in North, more in South.
Males have a 3-pronged "pseudostinger," a part of copulatory gear