Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Pelecinid wasps in my backyard
This large black wasp with the incredibly long abdomen is a Pelecinid Wasp (Pelecinus polyturator), the only member of the pelecinidae in North America. These are females, as the smaller males are seldom seen. Pelecinids parasitize of the grubs of June beetles, which are those white C-shaped grubs that you dig up in your garden. The female uses her long abdomen to probe into the soil and lay eggs on the grubs. I found and photographed these three different females in my yard last year (2006), but I haven't seen any this year.
Edit 27 Jan 08: With the help of BugGuide, I have identified the image of a small black wasp as a male pelecinid. See above.