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Sand Wasp; Avispa de la Arena

Ammophila sp.


Ammophilinae. Medium-sized wasp of slender build, with antennae about as long as the head plus thorax. It is characterized by its large eyes and, above all, by the long and narrow stalk that joins the thorax with abdomen. All the animal is black, less the first half of the abdomen, which is of an intense red-orange colour. They reach nearly 3 centimetres of body size. The fertilized females of these lonely wasps, dig nests in the ground in sandy areas, a gallery of several centimeters in length, ending in an incubation chamber. Then paralyze normally butterfly caterpillars or larvae of other insects with bites of his stinger and take them to the nest. They deposit the egg directly on them, so when hatching the larvae can feed them until reaching the stage of pupation. They are active during the hottest hours of the day and when they are not supplying nests, feeding on nectar from different plants.


Alpine meadow, close to 2000 m. high. Parque Nacional de Guadarrama. Peñalara


Camera Model: NIKON D300. Exposure Time: 1/800 sec.; f/14; ISO Speed Rating: 800. Exposure Bias: 0 EV. Focal Length: 300.0 mm. No flash fired

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Spotted by

Comunidad de Madrid, Spain

Spotted on Jul 23, 2015
Submitted on Sep 17, 2015


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