The Scoliidae, the scoliid wasps, are a family of about 560 species found worldwide. They tend to be black, often marked with yellow or orange, and their wing tips are distinctively corrugated. Males are more slender and elongated than females, with significantly longer antennae, but the sexual dimorphism is not as apparent as in the Tiphiidae.

Black flower wasp (Austroscolia soror), Australia
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Infraorder: Aculeata
Superfamily: Scolioidea
Family: Scoliidae
Latreille, 1802



Scoliid wasps are solitary parasitoids of scarab beetle larvae. Female scoliids burrow into the ground in search of these larvae and then use their sting to paralyze them. They will sometimes excavate a chamber and move the paralyzed beetle larva into it before depositing an egg. Scoliid wasps act as important biocontrol agents, as many of the beetles they parasitize are pests, including the Japanese beetle. Male scoliids patrol territories, ready to mate with females emerging from the ground. Adult wasps may be minor pollinators of some plants and can he found on many wildflowers in the late summer.[citation needed]

Scoliidae also has at least one species known to engage in pseudocopulation with an orchid. Flowers of the orchid Bipinnula penicillata in subtropical South America resemble females of Pygodasis bistrimaculata, tricking male wasps into attempting to mate and, in the process, provide pollination.[1] Scoliids include some[which?] of the largest wasps in the world, with only the similarly large tarantula hawk wasps rivaling them in size.[citation needed]


Scoliidae genera are classified as follows:[2][3][4]

Scolia bicincta female, Pennsylvania

Subfamily: ProscoliinaeEdit

Subfamily: ScoliinaeEdit

Tribe: CampsomeriniEdit

Tribe: ScoliiniEdit

North American species listEdit

There are about 20 species in North America north of Mexico.[6] Species include:


  1. ^ Ciotek, Liliana; Giorgis, Pablo; Benitez-Vieyra, Santiago; Cocucci, Andrea A. (2005). "First Confirmed Case of Pseudocopulation in Terrestrial Orchids of South America". Flora - Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants. 201 (5): 365–369. doi:10.1016/j.flora.2005.07.012.
  2. ^ Osten, T. (2005). "Checkliste der Dolchwespen der Welt (Insecta: Hymenoptera, Scoliidae). Teil 1: Proscoliinae und Scoliinae: Campsomerini. Teil 2: Scoliinae: Scoliini. Teil 3: Literatur" [Checklist of the Scoliidae of the World. Part 1: Proscoliinae and Scoliinae: Campsomerini. Part 2: Scoliinae: Scoliini. Part 3: Literature] (PDF). Bericht der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft Augsburg (in German). 62 (220–221): 1–62. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  3. ^ "Classification and checklist of Afrotropical mammoth wasps". Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  4. ^ "BugGuide - Family Scoliidae". Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  5. ^ "Fauna Europaea".
  6. ^ Poole, R.W.; Gentili, P. "Hymenoptera" (PDF). Nomina Insecta: A Check List of the Insects of North America Nearctica. 2: 309–375. ISBN 1-889002-02-X. Retrieved 2011-10-10.

External linksEdit