Megascolia maculata maculata

Megascolia maculata maculata

The mammoth wasp, Megascolia maculata maculata, is a very large wasp (the largest in Europe), with the female reaching up to 6 centimeters (2.4 in), whereas the male is smaller. The species can be seen in warm weather, from May to September.
M. M. maculata has red gaster apex, and the M. M. flavifrons - black.
The adult mammoth wasps feed on nectar from flowers. The female hunts in deadwood for the larvae of the European rhinoceros beetle Oryctes nasicornis which paralyzes by stinging it and then lays a single egg on the larva. The larval wasp consumes the beetle larva apart from its skin. Once the beetle larva had been consumed the wasp larva builds a cocoon and pupates, emerging from the cocoon as an adult in the following Spring.
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderHymenoptera
FamilyScoliidae
GenusMegascolia
SpeciesMegascolia maculata maculata
Photographed in
Greece