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Cerceris fumipennis

Closeup of bare brown dirt, in the center of which is a narrow hole from which the face of a black wasp can be seen. The wasp has yellow markings on the front of its head between its eyes.

The predatory wasp Cerceris fumipennis, which some call the smoky-winged beetle bandit, collects adults in the Buprestidae family (metallic wood-boring or jewel beetles) to feed to its young. Among such beetles is the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis); researchers monitor C. fumipennis nesting sites for emerald ash borer among its prey to detect presence of the invasive beetle nearby. (Photo by Claire Rutledge, Ph.D.)

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