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Species Scolia dubia - Blue-winged Wasp

wasp - Scolia dubia - male Scolia dubia? - Scolia dubia Blue-winged Wasp - Scolia dubia Scoliid Wasp - Scolia dubia - female Unknown bee on Goldenrod - Scolia dubia Scoliid Wasp species - Scolia dubia Scolia dubia? - Scolia dubia Blue-winged Wasp - Scolia dubia
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Scolioidea
Family Scoliidae (Scoliid Wasps)
Genus Scolia
Species dubia (Blue-winged Wasp)
Other Common Names
Digger Wasp
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Scolia dubia Say, 1837
Explanation of Names
Latin dubia means "doubtful" (Internet searches).
Size
20-25 mm (U. of Florida)
Identification
Black with reddish orange abdomen, two large yellow spots.
The larva is a legless, white grub with a brown head. It appears hairless and has no eyes. The antennae, maxillary and labial palps are one-segmented. There is a slit-like silk gland on the labium.
Males have longer antennae than females, and a pronglike pseudostinger on the abdomen.
Range
Massachusetts to Florida, west to Colorado, Arizona, California.
Season
Summer, early fall. June-October (North Carolina).
Food
Adults take nectar, may also feed on juices from beetle prey.
Larvae are parasites of green June beetles and Japanese beetles.
Life Cycle
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 the Green June Beetle, Cotinis, and the Japanese Beetle 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.
Remarks
Males have a three pronged "pseudostinger," which is part of their external genitalia.
Print References
Arnett, p. 580, describes, gives distribution. (1)
Borror and White, p. 343--illustration of what is apparently this species (2)
Brimley, p. 439 (3)
Milne, p. 820, fig. 457 (4)
Salsbury, p. 266--photo (5)
Swan and Papp, p. 548, fig. 1192 (6)
Internet References
North Carolina State University--Scoliid Wasps of North Carolina
University of Florida PDF document.
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.A Field Guide to Insects
Richard E. White, Donald J. Borror, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.
3.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
4.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.
5.Insects in Kansas
Glenn A. Salsbury and Stephan C. White. 2000. Kansas Dept. of Agriculture.
6.The Common Insects of North America
Lester A. Swan, Charles S. Papp. 1972. Harper & Row.