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Invertebrate Discolia verticalis (Blue Flower Wasp)

Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Scientific Name: Discolia verticalis

Common Name(s): Blue Flower Wasp

Other Names: Hairy flower wasp

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera

Superfamily: Vespoidea

Family: Scoliidae

Genus: Discolia

Species: verticalis

Distribution: Throughout Australia

Habitat: Urban gardens, forests, woodlands and heath.

Field Notes: Large solitary wasps. Very hairy with dark blue body and yellow patch behind head. Adults have shiny dark blue wings and stoutly built. Nectar feeders, especially eucalyptus blossum. Females have spiny legs for digging in wood or soil searching for beetle larvae and other insects to parasite. Size - up to 59 mm. There are 25 species of flower wasps that belong to Scoliidae.

Note: Flower wasps will sting if disturbed. Multiple stings can cause systemic reaction.
Warning - if symptons indicate systemic reaction seek urgent medical advice.

Photo: by Dusty, Jan 2012. Location: Gordonbrook Dam, QLD.


Copy - DSC_0483.jpgCopy(2) - DSC_0495.jpg

Thanks auscraft and Dusty M for assistance to ID this specimen. Will continue to persue positive species ID to add to post.


References:

Australian Museum, (2011). http://australianmuseum.net.au/Flower-wasps/

Chapman Arthur, (2005). http://www.flickr.com/photos/arthur_chapman/3037322762/

Zborowski, P., & R. Storey, (2010). A Field Guide to Insects in Australia 3rd Edition.
 
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Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Have had a response from the QLD museum and species is identified as Scolia (Discolia) verticalis. Visited the museum last Friday, the science discovery centre was fantastic especially all the insect, bird and mammal specimens. I approached the staff regarding my wasp email and they kindly forwarded it straight away to the entomologist. Usually queries can take weeks to answer but I was lucky.
 

Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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DSCF70012640x480.jpg

The grass stem is covered in ergot fungus. I wonder if they are wasted.

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When you look at the eyes up close they are lumpy and wrap around llike insectoid raybans..
 

Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Nice find Dusty M, I especially like first picture where you have captured a few of them. Great closeup also on last pic. Next time you see them can you get a clear back head shot with the spots?
 

Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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The spots aren't real dark, not like I expected. Have a few photos of them somewhere....
 

Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Thanks Dusty M, fantastic. I reckon the spots are their unique identification characteristic.
 

Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Auscraft was at back of our property planting natives and swarmed by these guys. I will have to go up and have a look. Apparently living near some pepperina trees. Tons of them.
 
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