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Large Blue-Green Wasp - Chlorion

Large Blue-Green Wasp - Chlorion
Skull Valley, (WSW of Prescott 10 miles), Yavapai County, Arizona, USA
July 24, 2007
A group of 4-6 of these were attracted to the Lilac stems and were chewing small holes thru to get the sap. Small wet spots on the stems showed where they had been. Size varied from 1.25 to 1.5 inches as best I could tell without a rule in hand.

Images of this individual: tag all
Large Blue-Green Wasp - Chlorion Large Blue-Green Wasp - Chlorion Large Blue-Green Wasp - Chlorion

Reminds me of
the blue mud dauber wasp (Chalybion sp), but I'm not at all sure... Try looking at photos of that genus and see what you think?

Oops - just saw Dr. Ascher's comment appear simultaneously - well, I wasn't TOO far off! :)

Chalybion and Chlorion are very similar
Note greenish or purplish color of many Chlorion vs. blue in Chalybion

Also note the shape of the pronotoum, which is more strongly notched in Chalybion

Finally, the head of Chlorion is broader

Thanks John S. Ascher
I think it would be great if this type info were posted on the various Taxon "Info" pages. Then editors wouldn't have to cover it in comment sections which have lesser user exposure.



Thanks John S. Ascher
Do you know of these wasps feeding on the sap of plants, or is this an unusual observation?
I also observed them defending the "Wet" sites from ants : There were also Giant Agave Bugs breeding in this Lilac . Our home expansion construction operation caused some bark damage on a few of the Lilac stems; this may have got them, the Wasps, started??

Sap feeding.
This is very typical behavior for Chlorion, in Arizona at least. The desert broom shrubs, genus Baccharis, typically exude excess sap after heavy rain, and this attracts all manner of insects. Be on the lookout for large, exotic longhorn beetles as well as the others you mention. Whether the big coreid bugs start the whole thing or not is, I suppose, anyone's guess, but I believe the plant stems simply split on their own....Spectacular images, thanks for sharing!

Thanks Eric!
I have had a few longhorned beetles, but my images haven't been good enough for ID's.

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