Chlorion aerarium Patton 1879. This beautiful, large
(25 mm) metallic blue wasp ranges from southern Canada to Mexico
(Krombein 1979) and is known only from scattered localities in the
LP, most of which are in the southernmost three tiers of
BIOLOGY: Peckham and Kurczewski (1978) found females mass-provisioning several serial cells, each containing from 2 to 9 nymphs or adults of Gryllus pennsylvanicus Burmeister (Gryllidae). Burrows were invariably dug from the sides of the main burrows of the cicada-killer (Sphecius speciosus [Drury]). Since C. aerarium also nests where S. speciosus is uncommon or absent, as in Michigan, some females may either start their own burrow from the surface, or perhaps utilize burrows of other wasps or bees. In the SLP (St. Joseph and Livingston counties), C. aerarium provisions its nests with G. pennsylvanicus nymphs in late July and early August. Prey are transported on the ground, venter-up, with the wasp's mandibles grasping the antennae of the cricket.
COLLECTION DATES: 42 specimens, 1 July to 17 September. Most dates are from late July to mid-August.
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