Common Thread-waisted Wasp (Ammophila procera)
This large, extremely active and fast-moving wasp is best known for it's parenting behavior. At about two-inches in length, this nectar and small insect-eating burrowing predator will search for a large caterpillar which it will sting it with just enough venom to incapacitate it, but keep it alive. It will then pull, fly or drag it into its burrow, then lay a single egg on the paralyzed caterpillar. When the egg hatches, the larvae will consume the still-living caterpillar for days until it pupates then emerges from the ground as an adult and flies away to start the next cycle. While not aggressive towards humans, it can deliver a nasty sting if provoked. This one was found in the sagebrush desert near Naches, Washington just west of Yakima.
- Rich Leighton
- Image Size
- 9999x6673 / 45.8MB
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- Contained in galleries