Pelecinid Wasp

January 28, 2010 | Caraça Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Wasps in the family Pelecinidae are distinctive and easily recognized by that long thin abdomen. I’ve see them closer to home as well, but I can’t recall if I’ve ever gotten a decent photo. I do remember chasing after quite a few in vain or watching as one teased me from someplace just out of reach. I got lucky with this one.

What I thought was a red marking turns out to be a small mite.

There’s only one genus, Pelecinus, for this family. There appears to be at least two described species in the tropics.

That long abdomen is used for ovipositing in the soil. Females probe for and oviposit on scarab beetle larvae.

Reference: Wikipedia

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One Response to Pelecinid Wasp

  1. Patrick Coin says:

    Yes, these are extra-mercurial. I have seen three, two in the Smokies and one I found on shrubs next to my front door when I went out to get the mail. It held still long enough for a shot, but I’ve never seen one in my yard again.

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