Large Yellow-banded Scolid Wasp (Megascolia flavifrons)

A wasp I photographed lately. This is the largest wasp found on the maltese islands and the female of this wasp can attain a 4.5cm body length. The female uses her sting to paralyze the host (larvae of Rhinoceros beetle mainly) and lays an egg on the surface of it.  The wasp larva feeds as an ectoparasite, finally killing the host and leaving its larval skin behind.  The larva of the wasp then creates a cocoon in which it will stay over winter and hatch out once the spring weather warms enough.