08.23.2020-2 Great Golden Digger Wasp

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.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to 08.23.2020-2 Great Golden Digger Wasp

  1. Pingback: 08.23.2020-2 Great Golden Digger Wasp — Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog | THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON...

  2. You’ve got yourself some excellent insect portraits here, all nice and crisp. Good for you for getting the fly in focus as a bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Nice shots, Steve. My favorite is the top view in all its shiny detail.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. krikitarts says:

    That’s a wonderful rich ochre color, and keep going for those eye shots.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres says:

    I’m always tickled by the little details that emerge in these photos — like the bit or orange at the bottom of the antennae. Every now and then I wonder if those colorful bits serve a utilitarian purpose, or if they’re just a bit of for-fun decoration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sure those are there for an evolutionary reason. Who knows whether wasp sex is fun for them but pretty much everything in nature has a purpose and often attracting a mate is at the top of the list. Subtle little differences appear to make a huge difference in selection. They may be for a different purpose such as intimidation of a rival or something else but if we are able to discern such things I’d guess there is a definite reason. They sure do make identification easier.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. melissabluefineart says:

    I’ve really enjoyed the insect series you’ve done this summer. It is fascinating to learn about them and to see their beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s