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HYMENOPTERA, Scoliidae (Westwood 1840) - (Vespoidea).-- <Images> & <Juveniles> 



Please refer to the following link for details on this group:


            Scoliidae = Link 1


Description & Statistics


          Scoliidae is a small cosmopolitan family with  6 identified genera and ca. 22 species in North America.   Five common genera in North America are Campsomeris, Crioscolia, Scolia, Trielis and Triscolia (Krombein 1951, 1958, 1967; Betrem 1972). Arnett (2000) referred to some introductions also.  There are ca. 322 species worldwide. Their color is usually black and frequently with orange or yellow markings.  The wing tips are corrugated.  Although males are more streamlined and long than females, with longer antennae, sexual dimorphism is not is not extensive.


          The larvae may be important biological control agents, as they attack beetle larvae in the ground, including the the Japanese beetle. Adult wasps may pollinate wildflowers.


          Size varies from 5 cm long to a wing span of 6 cm.   Their biology is not well studied. Charmoy (1922) gave a short annotated review of scoliid life history and Clausen (1940) expounded.


          Males have been observed close to the ground flying in an irregular figure eight pattern.  Small groups may be found on the soil surface.  Iwata (1976) observed that a female will land and dig into the soil using first her mandibles and then her fore- and middle legs.


          Most species are external parasitoids of soil-inhabiting scarab beetle larvae. Some scoliid adults use the scarab's burrows (Iwata 1976). When a female wasp reaches the scarab larva she paralyzes it, and then either lays an egg on the venter of the host (Bradley 1945) or moves the beetle larva deeper into the soil, hollows out a small chamber, and lays an egg (Clausen 1940, Iwata 1976).


          Clausen (1940) and Fleming (1968) reported that all larvae which are stung receive an egg, but such larvae never recover from the sting. According to Malyshev (1968) and Iwata (1976) the egg is always laid with its posterior end free of the host body. The eggs are oriented vertically to the scarab body.


          After hatching, the larvae feed on its scarab host for about one or two weeks and then spin an underground cocoon.  Clausen (1940:307) noted that most species "probably pass the winter in the mature larval stage within the cocoon."  DeBach (1964) briefly reviewed the literature of Scoliidae for their use in the biological control of white grubs. The main emphasis has been with grubs of sugar cane in Hawaii, the Mariana Islands, and Mauritius where control ranged from "partial" to "complete" (DeBach 1964).


          During the 1920's ca. 15,000 adults of two species of scoliid wasps, Campsomeris annulata Fabricius (=Campsomeriella) and Campsomeris marginella modesta (Smith) (=Micromeriella), were released in the northeastern United States to control the Japanese beetle (Krombein 1948). Even though these wasps were experimentally shown to parasitize this beetle, they are not known to have established in the United States (Fleming 1968).


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References:   Please refer also to  <biology.ref.htm>, [Additional references may be found at:  MELVYL Library]


Arnett, Jr R.H. 2000. American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico. CRC Press. Boca Raton. 1003 pp.


Betrem, J.G. 1972 (1971). The African Campsomerinae. Mon. Nederlandse Ent. Ver. 6: 1-326.


Bradley, J.C. 1928. The species of Campsomeris of the Plumipes Group, inhabiting the United States, the Greater Antilles, and the Bahama Islands. Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences of Philadelphia 80: 313-337.


Bradley, J.C. 1945. The Scoliidae of northern South America, with especial reference to Venezuela. 1. The genus Campsomeris. Boletin de Entomologia Venezolana 4: 1-36.


Brothers, D.J. 1975. Phylogeny and classification of the aculeata Hymenoptera, with special reference to Mutillidae. University of Kansas Scientific Bulletin 50: 483-648.


Clausen, C.P. 1940. Entomophagous Insects. McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., New York, N.Y. 688 pp.


DeBach, P. 1964. Successes, trends and future possibilities. In DeBach P (editor). Biological Control of Insect Pests and Weeds. Chapman and Hall Ltd., London.


Charmoy, D. & d' Emmerez. 1922. An attempt to introduce scoliid wasps from Madagascar to Mauritius. Bulletin of Entomological Research 13: 245-254.


Evans, H.E & M. J. W. Eberhard 1970. The Wasps. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. 265 pp.


Fleming, W.E. 1968. Biological Control of the Japanese Beetle. U.S. Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin 1383. 78 pp.


Hurd, P.  1952.  Bull. Calif. Ins. Survey 1:  141-52.


Iwata, K. 1976. Evolution of Instinct. Comparative Ethology of Hymenoptera. Amerind Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India. (Translated from 1972 (1971) Japanese edition by Smithsonian Institution and National Science Foundation, Technical Translation TT73-52016). 535 pp.


Krombein, K.V. 1948. Liberation of oriental scolioid wasps in the United States from 1920 to 1946. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 41: 58-62.


Krombein, K.V. 1951. Scoliidae. In Muesebeck et al., Hymenoptera of America North of Mexico, synoptic catalog. U.S. Department of Agriculture Monograph 2.


Krombein, K.V. 1952. Biological and taxonomic observations on the wasps in a coastal area of North Carolina. Wasmann Journal of Biology 10: 257-341.


Krombein, K.V. 1958. Scoliidae. In Krombein et al., Hymenoptera of America North of Mexico, synoptic catalog. U.S. Department of Agriculture Monograph 2, Suppl. 1.


Krombein, K.V. 1967. Scoliidae. In Krombein et al., Hymenoptera of America North of Mexico, synoptic catalog. U.S. Department of Agriculture Monograph 2, Suppl. 2.


Kurczewski, F.E. 1963. Biological notes on Campsomeris plumipes confluenta (Say). Entomological News 74: 21-24.


Kurczewski, F.E, Spofford MG. 1986. Observations on the behaviors of some Scoliidae and Pompilidae (Hymenoptera) in Florida. Florida Entomologist 69: 636-644.


Malyshev, S.I. 1968. Genesis of the Hymenoptera and the phases of their evolution. Methuen and Co., Ltd., London (Translated from 1966 Russian edition by National Lending Library for Science and Technology). 319 pp.


Porter, C.C. 1981. Scoliidae (Hymenoptera) of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Florida Entomologist 64: 441-453.


Rau, P. 1932. The courtship dance and sleeping habits of Scolia dubia. Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 27: 59-62.


Rau, P. & N. Rau. 1918. Wasps Studies Afield. Princeton Univ. Press., Princeton, N.J. 372 pp.


Spradbery, J.P. 1973. Wasps. An Account of the Biology and Natural History of Solitary and Social Wasps. University of Washington Press, Seattle. 408 pp.