pelecinid wasp

(Pelecinus polyturator)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

pelecinid wasp

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

July to August

Habitat

Deciduous forests

Size

Male: ½ to or 1 long

Female: 2 to 2 long


Identification

This is a black, shiny, vespoid wasp.

Females can reproduce without fertilization, and males of this species are rare. Males are ½ to or 1 long. The posterior end of the abdomen is club-shaped.

The females are 2 to 2 long, relatively common, and distinctive. The abdomen is long and slender. It has six segments and is five times the length of the rest of the body.

The hindwings of both sexes are the length of the forewings.

 
Similar
Species

No similar species


Larval Hosts

June beetle (Phyllophaga) grubs

 
Adult Food

Nectar

 
Life Cycle

The female thrusts its ovipositor into the soil to detect beetle grubs. It lays a single egg on each. The wasp larva burrows into and feeds on the grub. It overwinters in the soil.

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 24.


Comments

This species is the only member of the family Pelecinidae that occurs in North America north of Mexico.


Taxonomy

Order:

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)

 

Suborder:

Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)

 

Superfamily:

Proctotrupoidea (vespoid wasps)

 

Family:

Pelecinidae (pelecinids)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

American pelecinid

pelecinid wasp


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Ovipositor

A long needle-like tube on the abdomens of some female insects, used to inject eggs into soil or plant stems.

       

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Brian Johnson


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  Pelecinid Wasp
DianesDigitals
 
  Pelecinid Wasp  
 
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Other Videos

 
  American Pelecinid Wasp (Pelecinidae: Pelecinus polyturator) Female on Table
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 20, 2010

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (20 July 2010).

 
     
  Pelecinid Wasp? (Pelecinidae: Pelecinus polyturator?) Resting Male?
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 27, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (27 August 2011). Thank you to John and Jane Balaban (@Bugguide.net) for suggesting the identity of this specimen.

 
     
  American Pelecinid Wasp (Pelecinidae: Pelecinus polyturator) Female Grooming
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 23, 2010

Photographed at Icelandic State Park, North Dakota (23 July 2010). This was but one of perhaps two dozen females that I observed in an hour-long walk over the mowed lawns beneath the park's canopy of an Oak, Elm, Ash, and Boxelder trees.

 
     
  Pelecinid Wasp (Pelecinidae: Pelecinus polyturator) Feeding on Leaf Surface
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 6, 2011

Photographed on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River north of Red Wing, Minnesota (04 August 2011).

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this insect.

TPS
8/7/2015

Location: Saint Paul, MN

I'd never seen or heard of this until late last night when one (female) flew about my bedroom as I was about to go to sleep. Was startled by its appearance after getting a clear view of it with my glasses on.

Had to find out what it was. Have lived in Minnesota my entire life (51 years) and this was a first.


Brian Johnson
8/31/2014

Location: northern St. Louis County, Fairbanks

never seen one before.

 

pelecinid wasp


The Novaks
8/25/2013

Just found your site when trying to identify an insect we have never seen before. We found photos and made a positive ID - the bug we found is the female Pelecinid Wasp.

We noticed that there were only three areas listed where this insect has been found in Minnesota. We found the insect in St. Louis County in the Side Lake area, more specifically, at Perch Lake. Just thought you might like to know about where we found the insect.


Joshua D. Haglund
8/9/2012

Hello MinnesotaSeason.com!!

I killed 3 female pelecinid wasps in Pennington County,
Thief River Falls, MN

... if you want to update your locations spotted.

One crawled at me fast, like a scorpion about to attack...
Good thing they don't fly very fast.

This is the first time I've seen them. I had to figure out what they were.

Thanks for the site


     
     
 

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