Monday, 24 July 2017

Digger wasp digging a burrow

I happened to come across a digger wasp, busy excavating her nest while I was testing my camera setup.

Digger wasps are a type of solitary wasp. Unlike social wasps, solitary wasps do not live in colonies. Most wasp species are solitary wasps. Once solitary wasps mate, the female wasp spend most of their time in preparing their nests and foraging for food for their young. The food consists mostly of spiders and insects. Many species dig burrows in the ground.

The female of the solitary was usually digs a deep tunnel that will form a suitable environment for her young with minimal changes in temperature. The tunnel usually branches at the end and each branch will have a separate egg laid in it. She then paralyses prey by stinging it and buries it along with an egg she lays on it. When the egg hatches the wasp larva eats the prey stored for it in the nest. Some species will only provision a single prey and after the egg hatches, will return with fresh prey to feed the young. The larvae, after eating the prey will pupate and finally emerge as an adult that emerges from the nest.

I was lucky to catch this female hard at work. Unfortunately I couldn't stay long enough to see the entire process.

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