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Pelecinid Wasp - Pelecinus polyturator Females are distinctive: their abdomens are five times the length of the rest of their body. The abdomen has six segments. Males are rarely seen in temperate areas, and this species is suspected of being capable of parthenogenesis.  <br />
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They do not sting. The female uses her long ovipositor to penetrate the soil in search of scarab beetle grubs to lay her eggs on/in.<br />
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Habitat: Mixed, mostly coniferous forest. She was resting on my tent and had no interest in moving. I left her there and found her in nearly the same spot the next morning. I finally had to move her to a nearby tree. Geotagged,Pelecinid Wasp,Pelecinus polyturator,Summer,United States,wasp Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

Pelecinid Wasp - Pelecinus polyturator

Females are distinctive: their abdomens are five times the length of the rest of their body. The abdomen has six segments. Males are rarely seen in temperate areas, and this species is suspected of being capable of parthenogenesis.

They do not sting. The female uses her long ovipositor to penetrate the soil in search of scarab beetle grubs to lay her eggs on/in.

Habitat: Mixed, mostly coniferous forest. She was resting on my tent and had no interest in moving. I left her there and found her in nearly the same spot the next morning. I finally had to move her to a nearby tree.

    comments (12)

  1. Fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing at my request! :D Posted 11 months ago
    1. You're welcome :) Posted 11 months ago
      1. And you introduced a new family! Nice! Posted 11 months ago
    2. Wait, please don't tell me Christine was in doubt to share this? It's incredible! Posted 11 months ago
      1. Crazy isn't it. ;) Posted 11 months ago
        1. Yes it is! I keep fighting people's reluctance to share, but don't know how.

          First, this photo isn't even at all in the category of questionable photos, not even close.

          Second, even if it was, it should still be shared. Even a dramatically bad smartphone-level photo of a species is welcome as it documents biodiversity. It documents the species. Next, people can share as many additional photos of that same species as they please, and the "best" (most appreciated) photo of that species will rank higher in the sort order or even become the species' cover photo. All of this works automatically.

          Third, JD is not a photo critique place. Yes, we strive for good photography and can constructively help each other get better at it, but it's not a requirement. We should respect people with different levels of skill, experience and equipment.

          I put the blame on myself, as somehow the platform gives some people the impression that they should put a high treshold on what they share. I guess in some people it's also in their character to do so.

          Either way, dust off those hard disks and let it rain species I'd say :)
          Posted 11 months ago
          1. Totally NOT your fault, Ferdy! Probably just my own insecurity. I find it impossible to judge my own photos. JD is a great site, which is such a nice and rare surprise on the internet. People don't expect it after being used to the snippy snark and unfriendliness on some other sites. JD is a gem <3 Posted 11 months ago
            1. Awwww, precious words, for once I am speechless. Posted 11 months ago
      2. Yup. She had it in her "bad photo" pile I'm pretty sure! :D I'm so glad she decided to share! Posted 11 months ago
        1. Posted a detailed reply to Mark above, want to refer you to that. Posted 11 months ago
      3. It's true - This shot is a year old...When I joined JD, I went through my old photos and only posted the better ones because I wasn't sure if subpar photos were "allowed" since all the photos on this site are so awesome! Lisa and I were both in awe of the photographic talent here! But, we quickly learned that JD is a rare, true nature-loving site and that its users are kind and awesome :). I should take a look back at my archives at some point and post more that I considered "unmentionables"!

        In retrospect, this photo isn't that bad, and I had totally forgotten about it until Lisa asked if I had seen one of these wasps, then I posted it at her request! I can't deny my twinsie, lol... And, so here it is!

        Posted 11 months ago
        1. Lovely how you to work together :) Posted a detailed reply to Mark above, want to refer you to that. Posted 11 months ago

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'Pelecinus polyturator' is a large glossy black wasp, the most common and familiar species in the family Pelecinidae. The adults drink nectar. They live in crop fields, woods, and suburban gardens throughout North, Central, and South America. Their antennae are long and the females have an elongated, cylindrical, articulated metasoma. They are parasitoids that lay their eggs directly into grubs of the June beetle buried in the soil. The adults can be found in the late summer.

Some populations.. more

Species identified by Christine Young
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By Christine Young

All rights reserved
Uploaded Oct 8, 2018. Captured Sep 22, 2017 08:32 in 3370 VT-30, Dorset, VT 05251, USA.
  • Canon EOS 60D
  • f/4.0
  • 1/64s
  • ISO400
  • 100mm