Project Noah

Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.

Join Project Noah Today

Mammoth wasp

Megascolia maculata

Description:

Mammoth wasp (lat. Megascolia maculata), is the largest European wasp belonging to hymenoptera order. This wasp may be found in Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine and Caucasus, where it inhabits mainly an oak forests. Meeting with this flying monster probably wont let you calm down for a while. The larger female (may reach 5.5-6 cm) can be told apart by her yellow head and short antennae. The male has a black head and longer antennae. Both have two yellow bands on their abdomens, which can be divided to form 4 spots as it is shown on the photos. Nevertheless, they hold no harm to humans despite their size, in contrast to common wasps and hornets. Indeed, mammoth wasps do have stings, but not for self-defence or nest protection (in fact, they are solitary wasps). You may see several of these wasps flying around decaying tree stumps, they have a purpose there. They’re searching for larvae of Rhinoceros beetle (lat. Oryctes nasicornis), The female wasp once she has discovered the huge larvae, will sting one to paralyze it and then lay her egg on the outer skin. After hatching, the larvae of the mammoth wasp starts eating its host, till reaches the size it could create a cocoon, where it can safely sleep through all winter. 6 months later, the larvae turns into pupa and after 1 month more, from under the underground emerges newly formed mammoth wasp. The adult once feed on flower nectar.

Notes:

3 subspecies are recognized: Megascolia maculata bischoffi Megascolia maculata flavifrons Megascolia maculata maculata/


No species ID suggestions

4 Comments

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 5 years ago

Hi amurchik! This spotting is identical to the one below:
http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/913...

Are both these account yours? We also note that the spottings dates and locations are different. Thank you in advance for your clarifications.

amurchik
amurchik 6 years ago

thank you,

KarenL
KarenL 6 years ago

Very nice detailed shots! Good work!

Daniel McNair
Daniel McNair 6 years ago

Great series. Thanks for sharing!

Georgia

Lat: 41.62, Long: 45.92

Spotted on Apr 26, 2012
Submitted on Apr 26, 2012

Related spottings

Mammoth wasp - Megascolia maculata Megascolia azurea 天藍土蜂 Megascolia azurea 天藍土蜂 Mammoth waps

Nearby spottings

The Caucasian agama The caucasian black grouse Japanese Cedar - Sugi Birch