I photographed these in the yard a few times on our milkweed flowers. Now I am finding them on Virgin’s Bower-Clematis virginiana growing among our elderberries behind the wood pile. They are beauties among wasps and relatively harmless…to humans…but do attack other insects to feed their young. Generally they do not sting us but if threatened the female might. Unlike some other wasps, such as Yellow Jackets and Bald Faced Hornets, they do not defend the nests…there are too many.
Great Golden Digger Wasp-Sphex ichneumoneus
Special guest appearance by a Common Green Bottle Fly-Lucilia sericata.
Those harmed the most are members of the Orthoptera…grasshoppers, katydids, and crickets…that are caught by the adult and one placed in a tunnel where the female then lays a single egg upon the paralyzed insect and covers the hole. When hatched the larva will feed on the still living but immobile buried treat and eventually emerge as an adult.
I love their coloring and the texture of the wings . I have been endeavoring, when possible, to get eye views of the different insects this year.
And my favorite angle for an insect portrait.