Mammoth wasp

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
(Fabricius, 1775)

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.

Sexual dimorphism

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.

Parasitic behaviour

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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