- Mammoth wasp
Mammoth wasp Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Hymenoptera Family: Scoliidae Genus: Megascolia Species: M. maculata Subspecies: M. m. flavifrons Trinomial name Maculata maculata flavifrons
The mammoth wasp, Megascolia maculata flavifrons, is a very large wasp (the largest in Europe), with the female reaching up to 6 centimetres (2.4 in), whereas the male is smaller. The species can be seen in warm weather, from May to September.
This species feeds on flower nectar.
The female is larger than the male. The female's head is yellow or orange, whereas the male's head is black or dark coloured.
Mammoth wasps are parasitic of the European rhinoceros beetle larva, since the female mammoth wasp stings the larva to paralyze it, and then lays one egg in its outer skin. The egg will then hatch and the mammoth wasp larva will feed on its host, until it is able to build a cocoon and develop into an adult mammoth wasp. It will stay in the cocoon over winter, and will emerge only in spring.
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