Shrub Steppe - Eastern Washington State

Cricket hunter wasp

Eastern Washington

 

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Eastern Washington Map of Wildlife and Recreation Areas

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Related information
Chlorion aerarium - BugGuide

Related books
National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Solitary Wasps: Behavior and Natural History

Supplies & Services
BioQuip - Entomology Equipment, Supplies and Books
Entomo-Logic - Pollinators & Entomology Services

 

Picture of a green cricket hunter wasp or Chlorion aerariumChlorion aerarium or the cricket hunter is a metallic blue or blue-green solitary wasp which hunts crickets to feed its larva. The mother wasp spends its days flushing crickets from their daytime hiding places, skittering along the ground, wings flicking. As with other parasitoid wasps, she paralyzes her prey with her sting but does not kill...thus, the cricket stays alive but relaxed, destined to serve as living nourishment for her wasp offspring. The wasp will drag her prey across the ground by their antennae, stuff them into a simple ground nest and lay an egg on them. Her young hatch, slowly consume their hosts for weeks before gorging, then pupate underground before emerging as solitary adults.

These chunky wasps were observed in late summer; the wasp in the top two pictures measured roughly 1-1/4 inch long while the specimen in the third exceeded 1-3/4 inch long.

» Other Eastern Washington wasps

 

Picture of a blue-green wasp - chlorion cricket hunter
Green cricket hunter wasp

 

Picture of a blue metallic wasp carrying cricket - Chlorion wasp
Blue green metallic cricket hunter wasp
carrying its black field cricket prey



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