Cricket Hunter Wasp

Chlorion aerarium

Chlorion aerarium photo © by Mike Plagens

This spectacular, metalic blue-green wasp was busy hunting for crickets on an eroded embankment near Cave Creek, Maricopa County, Arizona. 30 Sept. 2008.

Sphecidae -- Sphecid Wasp Family

By day crickets of the Sonoran Desert mostly hide deep in their burrows to escape the heat and dry conditions. But they are not entirely safe. Cricket Hunter wasps can find them using sensitive chemo-receptors (smell) and enter the burrows after them. Once found, the wasp paralyzes the cricket with a sting. With one to several crickets the wasp provisions its own burrow. Later the wasp's egg will hatch into a grub that consumes the crickets. The wasp will excavate a new burrow and hunt cricket provisions for each of its young.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 10 Oct. 2008,
updated 26 March 2017.