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blue-winged wasp

blue-winged wasp (Scolia dubia)

Features and Behaviors

The blue-winged wasp, or digger wasp, is 0.80 to 1.0 inch in length. Its head, thorax and the first two abdominal segments are black. The rest of the abdomen is red with two yellow spots on the third abdominal segment.

The female of this species burrows into the ground searching for grubs, particularly those of the green June beetle, Cotinis nitida, and the Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica. The wasp stings the grub to paralyze it, constructs a cell around it and lays an egg on it. The wasp larva will feed on the paralyzed grub. It pupates and overwinters in the soil. Males and females have a courtship dance, flying low to the ground in a figure-8 or S-shaped pattern. Adults feed on flower nectar.​

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Scoliidae

Illinois Status: common, native