|Black flower wasp (Scolia soror), Australia|
The Scoliidae, the scoliid wasps, are a family of about 560 species found worldwide. They tend to be black, often marked with yellow or orange, and their wing tips are distinctively corrugated. Males are more slender and elongated than females, with significantly longer antennae, but the sexual dimorphism is not as apparent as in the Tiphiidae, a closely related family.
Scoliid wasps are solitary parasitoids of scarab beetle larvae. Female scoliids burrow into the ground in search of these larvae and then use their sting to paralyze them. They will sometimes excavate a chamber and move the paralyzed beetle larva into it before depositing an egg. Scoliid wasps act as important biocontrol agents, as many of the beetles they parasitize are pests, including the Japanese beetle. Male scoliids patrol territories, ready to mate with females emerging from the ground. Adult wasps may be minor pollinators of some plants and can he found on many wildflowers in the late summer.
Scoliidae also has at least one species known to engage in pseudocopulation with an orchid. Flowers of the Geoblasta pennicillata orchid in subtropical South America resemble female Campsomeris bistrimacula wasps, tricking males into attempting to mate and, in the process, provide pollination. Scoliids include some of the largest wasps in the world, with only the similarly large tarantula hawk wasps rivaling them in size.
There are about 20 species in North America. Species include:
- Campsomeriella annulata (Fabricius 1793)
- Campsomeris completa (Rohwer 1927)
- Campsomeris ephippium (Say 1837)
- Campsomeris fulvohirta (Cresson 1865)
- Campsomeris limos (Burmeister 1853)
- Campsomeris pilipes (Saussure 1858)
- Campsomeris plumipes (Drury 1770)
- Campsomeris quadrimaculata (Fabricus 1775)
- Campsomeris tolteca (Saussure 1857)
- Campsomeris trifasciata (Fabricius 1793)
- Crioscolia alcione (Banks 1917)
- Crioscolia flammicoma (Bradley 1928)
- Micromeriella marginella (Klug 1810)
- Scolia bicincta (Fabricius 1775) – double-banded scoliid
- Scolia bifasciata (Swederus 1787)
- Scolia consors(Saussure 1863)
- Scolia dubia (Say 1837) – blue-winged wasp
- Scolia guttata (Burmeister 1853)
- Scolia mexicana (Saussure 1858)
- Scolia nobilitata (Fabricius 1805)
- Trielis octomaculata (Say 1823)
- Trielis pollenifera (Viereck 1906)
- Triscolia ardens (Smith 1855)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Scoliidae.|
- "Full list of Scoliidae and their Genus (German)" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-24.
- "NOMINA INSECTA NEARCTICA" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-10-10.
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