|Female Field Digger Wasp (Mellinus arvensis)|
So here are the facts:
- This particular Digger Wasp is actually the Field Digger wasp and is one of the commonest of its type.
|Bug caught - looking for a place to dig|
- Now, its type is actually a solitary wasp. These are basically wasps that don't live in groups. the only live in their own.
- They are found quite commonly in the South of England getting less common the further North you go, it seems most common in Ireland on the East coast.
- This Wasp flies quite late in the year, from July to October but is most common in August and September..
- They are actually quite small, only being 12mm long, their wings, when folded up, are 8mm so their wingspan would be 16mm.
- Their family is actually Crabronidae but Roger told me the families can change because about a year ago their family was Specidae.
- Roger actually told me what it was that it was doing. Now I said at the start they are a nice looking creature but this bit is a little gruesome.
- It has caught a dung fly Scathophaga stercoraria and this is part of its life cycle. It hunts them on piles of dung, walking across the dung and leaping on its prey.
- The digger wasp paralyses the fly with its sting and lays an egg on it and buries it in the sand in nests which are as much as 30-40cm underground.
- The egg then hatches and the larvae eats the fly while it grows, the fly remember is just paralysed and is still alive!
Here you can see the dung fly better
BWARS - Digger Wasps
Wikipeida - Digger Wasps - This one doesn't have much
Natural History Museum - Digger Wasps
Hope you enjoyed,