“Icheumon” – Scorpion Wasp

“Ichneumon”

“You notice, by the way, that we never have a meeting with an alien. It’s always an encounter.”
― Jack McDevitt

Also known as a Scorpion Wasp due to their appearance, or more correctly, American Pelecinid Wasp. These alien looking creatures look like they may have come from a child’s nightmare, but the long tail, which resembles a scorpion’s stinger as actually used by the wasp to deposit its egg on grubs underground.

So, from a human standpoint it’s no real threat. But to a grub, it’s a horror story. You see, the long stinger allows the wasp to deposit eggs on grubs while they are still underground, by poking through the dirt and inserting the eggs onto the living grub. As the single egg hatches, the wasp’s own grub begins to eat the host from inside.

The wasp itself is a nectar feeder, usually flying low and can often be seen on bushes and low growing plants. It’s primary benefit is the control of beetle populations by using their grubs as hosts.

iPhone 5s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2
1/30 sec;   f/2.2;   ISO 50

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10 thoughts on ““Icheumon” – Scorpion Wasp

  1. Tom's Nature-up-close Photography and Mindfulness Blog

    Awesome photo, Ed! 🙂
    We don’t see any of these where we live now… but as a kid, these were very common on our sidewalks and yards. We, as kids, would call them “Sewing Bugs,” and the rumor was that they would land on your back and sew your shirt to your body! Needless to say, all the children would run away from them with fear and zeal. I, however, being extremely fond of bugs (even as a kid) would go up close to them. They sure looked diabolical, but they never did any harm! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Joanne Sisco

    I’ve never heard of these before and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. I am not a fan of grubs, so on one hand I want to say ‘Go Scorpion Wasp! Go!’. But on the other hand, ewwwww.

    Reply

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