Larra

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2023-07-18 Snargl 0 minute 0 second

What kind of animal is Larra?

Larra is a kind of wasp that belongs to the family Crabronidae and the subtribe Larrina.

Larra wasps are also known as mole cricket wasps or mole cricket hunters, because they prey on various species of mole crickets.

Larra wasps have gained prominence as integrated pest management agents, as they help control the population of mole crickets that can damage crops and lawns.

Larra wasps are found worldwide, especially in the tropics.

They have a black and yellow or orange coloration, and a length of 12 to 22 mm.

They have a straight posterior margin of the pronotum, thick bristles on the outer side of the front tibiae, and no tooth on the inner edge of the mandibles.

The intermediate segment is elongated.

The females hunt adult or late-instar mole crickets and lay their eggs on them, after temporarily paralyzing them by stinging them on the underside.

The larva, upon hatching, gradually consumes the host, eventually killing it.

It then pupates in or near the remains.

The adults are solitary and do not form colonies.

The incubation and development are highly variable and dependent on temperature.

Each Larra species prefers a particular set of prey species, even when related prey is available.

Some of these species have been introduced to different regions to help control invasive mole crickets, such as Larra bicolor in Puerto Rico and Florida, and Larra polita in Hawaii.

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What is the animal Larra known for?

Larra is a genus of wasps that are known for preying on mole crickets, a type of insect that lives underground and feeds on plant roots.
Larra wasps are also called mole cricket wasps or mole cricket hunters.
They are considered as beneficial insects for agriculture, as they help control the population of mole crickets, which are considered as pests.
Larra wasps have a distinctive life cycle, in which the female wasp hunts a mole cricket and lays an egg on its body, after paralyzing it temporarily with a sting.
The larva that hatches from the egg feeds on the mole cricket, eventually killing it.
The larva then pupates in or near the remains of the mole cricket.
Larra wasps are found worldwide, especially in the tropics.
They feed on nectar as adults and are solitary, not forming colonies.
Larra wasps belong to the family Crabronidae, the same family as sand wasps and cicada killers.
There are about 64 species of Larra wasps, each one preferring a specific set of prey species.

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Where does the Larra live?

The Larra, specifically the species Larra anathema, is a type of parasitoid wasp that belongs to the family Crabronidae.

These wasps are known for their distinctive black bodies, with the first and second tergite of the abdomen being reddish-brown, and dark brown or black wings.

The females of this species are hunters of European mole crickets, which they sting and paralyze to provide a host for their larvae.

In terms of habitat, Larra anathema is widespread across various regions.

It is found in North Africa, throughout Southern and Central Europe, and extends its presence into Turkey.

Additionally, this species has been introduced to Hawaii for the purpose of biological pest control.

The Larra wasps prefer dry habitats, which align with their biological needs and hunting behavior.

The introduction of Larra anathema to Hawaii highlights the wasp's role in controlling populations of mole crickets, which are considered pests in many regions.

By utilizing these wasps as a natural form of pest control, the reliance on chemical pesticides can be reduced, leading to more sustainable agricultural practices.

Overall, the distribution of Larra anathema reflects its adaptability to various climates and its effectiveness as a biological control agent.

Its presence in diverse geographical areas underscores the wasp's ecological importance and its contribution to maintaining the balance within ecosystems where mole crickets are prevalent.

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