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Grass-carrying Wasp

Isodontia sp.

Description:

Medium sized, dark wasp with brown fuzz on thorax. These are known for being spotted carrying grass.

Habitat:

Tamarisk next to small lake.

Notes:

"The adult wasps emerge from their cocoons in early summer, mate, and the females locate a suitable nest site. She collects blades of grass and grass and hay stems to line the nest cavity. The wasp can be seen flying through the air with the blades trailing beneath her. She lands at the hole and enters, pulling the blade in behind her. After the nest is prepared, she hunts for tree crickets (i.e., Oecanthus sp.), captures and paralyses them with her sting, and transports them to the nest. She deposits eggs in the nest and the emerging larvae will feed on the living, but immobile crickets. When the larvae reach the appropriate size (in 4–6 days at 70–75° F.), they spin a cocoon and pupate. The adult wasps emerge in 2–3 weeks." - PennState

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Escondido, California, USA

Spotted on Jun 20, 2012
Submitted on Jun 21, 2012

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