Megascolia maculata (Huge Ocellated Solitary Wasp / Benekli Dev Eşek Arısı) from Anamur, Mersin - 02.05.2010.
Solitary wasps of the genus Megascolia rank among the largest representatives of the European waps fauna. Females can reach a body lenght of 45mm and display a wide, yellow-marked head which gave them their vernacular name "large yellow-headed scoliid wasp". Males are usually smaller and are characterised by long antennae, much longer that those of their conspecific females. The tip of the males' abdomen has a series of three tiny spines. Females of this genus paralyse and develop upon large white grubs such Lucanus cervus, Oryctes nasicornis or Polyphylla fullo. The paralysis has been described by Fabre (1886) and Piek et al. (1983), and illustrated by Vereecken & Carrière (2003). (Atlas Hymenoptera)
Despite the warning coloration and intimidating appearance this insect poses no threat to humans.
The brown-red hairs of this species (particularly of the female) help to make the difference with the similar species Megascolia maculata flavifrons, which has black hairs. (See an interesting topic, with a key, about it in Italian on Naturamediterraneo forum.)
Distribution: Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey, Near-East.
Text prepared by Catherine Dijon.
|Created on||Sunday 02 May 2010|
|Posted on||Saturday 16 July 2011|
|Tags||Mersin, TURKEY / TÜRKİYE|