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 Digger Wasp (Astata occidentalis)




Digger Wasp | Astata occidentalis photo
Sphecid wasp (Astata occidentalis) with stinkbug prey

Photograph by Howard Ensign Evans, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

DIGGER WASP FACTS

Description
Astata occidentalis is a black Sphecid wasp with very dark wings. The males have large compound eyes. These solitary wasps sting and paralyse adult stink bugs that are about as large as themselves, and drag them down into their nest in the ground. They may locate the bugs by detecting the pheromone emitted by the stink bug.

Size
about 15mm

Food
preys on stink bugs

Breeding
This species is a ground nesting wasps that digs a hole in the ground for a nest and drags paralysed stink bugs into the nest. An egg is laid on the bug, and when the larva hatches it feeds on the bug. The adult wasp emerges from the ground.

Range
Astata occidentalis is found in south western parts of the United States and northern Mexico.

Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Sphecidae
Genus:Astata
Species:occidentalis
Common Name:Digger Wasp