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Giant Scoliid Wasp

Pygodasis ephippium

Description:

A truly monstrous wasp measuring 4 cm in length! This is a Scollid wasp, often called Digger Wasps. They have a characteristically corrugated pattern on the tips of the wings (2nd picture). These are parasitic on Scarab larvae under ground, tunneling down to the larva to lay her egg on its body. Some will make a side chamber to store the larva while her own offspring grows. Because of her size, she must parasitize one of the larger scarab species. She also has enormous mandibles (1st & 5th pictures) for handling the larva underground. This species has two large orange-red bands on the abdomen and is otherwise entirely black. This is the 4th individual I have seen over the past 30 years. These have been reported from the southern US, Mexico, Central America and northern South America (https://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?search...). Family Scoliidae. The genus has been changed from Campsomeris to Pygodasis. See this similar species with a different orange pattern, silver hair and eyes and somewhat smaller at 3 cm, from Veracruz, Mexico (https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/20...).

Habitat:

Flew into our hotel restaurant, semi-rural residential area, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, 2,200 meters.

Notes:

https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/10... https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/14... https://www.whatsthatbug.com/2006/09/13/... https://bugguide.net/node/view/268957 http://csvcoll.org/portal/taxa/index.php...

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2 Comments

Alfonso San
Alfonso San a year ago

On these days I have seen three of them at the same time over the flowers of a moringa tree that I have in my garden, they're so beautiful and impressive because their size and colors. BTW I live in Texcoco city, Mexico, 2,240 m. I took a slow motion video of the wasp flying, I can share it with you by email alfonsosg@outlook.com or messenger https://www.facebook.com/Posho28

Bernadette S
Bernadette S 2 years ago

Wow! What an interesting spotting!

LaurenZarate
Spotted by
LaurenZarate

San Cristóbal, Chiapas, Mexico

Spotted on Feb 21, 2019
Submitted on Mar 22, 2019

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