Parasites find it counterproductive to kill their hosts; parasitoids live to kill their hosts/kill their hosts to live. Scorpion stings are painful but rarely life-threatening. The males have genitals shaped like a scorpion stinger, hence the name. [OC] It turns out it's actually called a "scorpionfly."
It didn't seem to care about me taking its picture.

Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Actually, it's Texas! Worldwide, only about 30 of the estimated 1,500 species of scorpions produce venom toxic enough to be fatal. A group of ichneumonid specialists have proposed Darwin wasps as a better vernacular name for the family. Females are not very aggressive, in that they are hesitant to sting, but the sting is extraordinarily painful.[1]. Is that long, pointy abdomen as dangerous as a scorpion’s? The consumption of fermented fruit sometimes intoxicates them to the point that flight becomes difficult. [2] Because of their extremely large stingers, very few animals are able to eat them; one of the few that can is the roadrunner. Its selection was prompted by a group of elementary school children from Edgewood doing research on states that had adopted state insects. However, the term ichneumon wasps can refer specifically to the genus Ichneumon within the Ichneumonidae and thus cause confusion. They selected three insects as candidates and mailed ballots to all schools for a statewide election. So when these little dicks fly at you, it's literal? [3] After several weeks, the larva pupates. He wasn't the one flying around our food and way too close to our faces. Aside from the possibility of triggering an allergic reaction, the sting is not dangerous and does not require medical attention. North of the Rio Grande. Male APWs may be absent from our landscapes, but they are present in the more torrid climes, south of the border. As wasps go, these are docile and harmless. Look closely and you can see the long, curved abdomen of the pelecinid wasp. You have Insect of the Year? Pelecinids have short wings for their length and are slow flyers. Only insects with complete metamorphosis (egg-to-larva-pupa-to-adult) need apply for the lifestyle, and only their larvae have the ability to do it, though their victims may come from all walks of life. That's really cool! Their larvae follow the parasitoid path. Never been so uncomfortable in my life. First time I saw one was in northern Louisiana. The largest scorpion wasp species can reach almost 24cm in length, including the stinger; the largest females are known to reach almost 14cm.
The winner was the tarantula hawk wasp. The term necrotroph from the Greek nekros (dead body) and trophe (nourishment) applies. At least it was pretty small? [4] Male tarantula hawks have been observed practicing a behavior called hill-topping, in which they sit atop tall plants and watch for passing females ready to reproduce. "[5] In terms of scale, the wasp's sting is rated near the top of the Schmidt sting pain index, second only to that of the bullet ant, and is described by Schmidt as "blinding, fierce[, and] shockingly electric". She deposits her egg directly into/onto the grub and goes her merry way, and when her larva hatches, it dives in. The U.S. state of New Mexico chose a species of tarantula hawk (specifically, P. formosa, now known as P. grossa) in 1989 to become its official state insect. The more familiar species are up to 5 cm (2 in) long, making them among the largest of wasps, and have blue-black bodies and bright, rust-colored wings (other species have black wings with blue highlights). The male tarantula hawk does not hunt; instead, it feeds on the flowers of milkweeds, western soapberry trees, or mesquite trees (females feed on these same plants, as well). Worldwide distribution of tarantula hawks includes areas from India to Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and the Americas. These beauties are sometimes called scorpionflies, a nod to their long, curved abdomens. A female may measure almost 2 ½ inches long, and her abdomen is five times the length of the rest of her body; males are only about an inch long. According to Frost, in Insect Life and Natural History, parasitoids are plunked on the continuum between parasites and predators. Pelecinids have short wings for their length and are slow flyers. There, it takes Two to Tango.

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