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Archive for July 11, 2011

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Great golden digger wasps are solitary wasps that dig vertical tunnels in the earth with cells off of them into which they put an insect (often a cricket or katydid) that they have stung and paralyzed, but not killed.  They then lay an egg on the insect and seal the cell.  When the egg hatches, the wasp larva consumes the insect before developing into an adult wasp and digging its way out of the cell.  In this photograph, the great golden digger wasp has curled its abdomen under itself and has just inserted its stinger into a caterpillar.  While larval wasps eat insects, adults consume nectar.