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Pelecinus polyturator is a large (up to 7 cm) glossy black wasp, the most common and familiar species in the family Pelecinidae. The adults drink nectar. They live in crop fields, woods, and suburban gardens throughout North, Central, and South America. Their antennae are long and the females have an elongated, cylindrical, articulated metasoma. They are parasitoids that lay their eggs directly into grubs of the June beetle (genus Phyllophaga) buried in the soil. The adults can be found in the late summer.
Pelecinus polyturator is parthenogenic; females do not require fertilization by males to reproduce. Females are common throughout its range, but males are quite rare in the United States and Canada, and more common farther south.