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 Digger wasp (Bembecinus quinquespinosus)




Digger wasp | Bembecinus quinquespinosus photo
Sphecid wasp (Bembecinus quinquespinosus) - mating ball

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

DIGGER WASP FACTS

Description
The Digger wasp, Bembecinus quinquespinosus, is a Sphecid wasp. Males vary in size, with smaller wasps are dark with white bands on the abdomen, and larger wasps are more yellow with white bands on abdomen. The wasp has an unusual mating behaviour where many males form clusters or mating balls around a single female wasp. When a female wasp is about to emerge from the soil, males congregate and fly low over the ground near where the female is located. When the female emerges they descend and compete for here attention with numerous males forming a ball around a single female. The females nest in large numbers

Size
about 1cm

Environment
frequents open areas with sandy soil or gravelly soil for nesting

Food
larvae feed on leafhoppers

Breeding
. the female digs a hole in the soil to make a nest which she provisions with leafhoppers of various species. she lays an egg on a leafhopper and when the larvae hatches from the egg, it feeds on the leafhopper food supply until it pupates, and emerges from the ground as an adult.

Range
Bembecinus quinquespinosus is found in western United States, Mexico and Central America

Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Sphecidae
Genus:Bembecinus
Species:quinquespinosus
Common Name:Digger wasp