Burrowing wasps are a fairly large group of insects, numbering more than 10,000 species. Burrowing wasps live everywhere from tropical regions to the Arctic Circle. In our country, these insects are also found.
Appearance of a digging wasp
The sizes of digging wasps vary: the length of the body of different species can reach 2-55 millimeters.
The pronotum in the upper part looks like a roller, which is a distinctive feature of this group of wasps.
Since digging wasps dig the ground, they have stiff scallops on their forelegs that act as shovels when folding the soil. But it is worth noting that not all wasps of this group settle in the ground, some representatives prefer wood or plant stems.
In many digging wasps, the apical segment has the appearance of a flat platform, since wasps with the help of such segments pull out the soil and level the walls of the aisles.Digging wasp (Crabronidae).
The diet of digging wasps
Adult burrowing wasps feed on plant juices, nectar, and the sweet secretions of some insects, such as aphids. Some burrowing wasps drink water. And certain species squeeze collected nectar from the bee's goiter.Burrowing bees consume nectar and plant juice.
Propagation of digging wasps
All digging wasps are caring for offspring. Adults build nests for a new generation, and for larvae they procure food. Insects, for example, caterpillars, spiders, butterflies, flies and the like, serve as larvae.
Each species of digging wasps selects certain insects as victims. They show amazing skill in hunting - they deliver deadly blows with accuracy. When a sting is injected, production is paralyzed and does not deteriorate for a long time.Burrowing wasps paralyze the victim with their poisonous sting.
Digging wasps are solitary insects; they do not depend on other individuals, but take care of their offspring on their own. When a female digs a mink and fills it with supplies, she lays an egg in it. She covers a mink with a stopper from a substrate.
Some species exhibit even more complex behavior. Females daily check the nest and replenish it with fresh prey, as the larvae eat up supplies. One female can simultaneously monitor several nests.
There are a fairly large number of species of digging wasps. Consider the most famous.
Wasp Larra Anafemskaya
These gardeners are very appreciated by gardeners, as they are assistants in the destruction of the bear. Larra anathema - a lone wasp. It has a black color. When Larra of Anafemia finds a bear, she expels her to the surface and there she paralyzes with three aimed blows of the sting in certain places of the body. After that, the wasp lays an egg under the foreleg of the victim.Wasp Larra anathema, laying an egg as a sacrifice.
After 5 minutes, the paralysis disappears, and the bear crawls underground, continuing to lead a familiar lifestyle. The larva of the digging wasp leaves the egg and develops for about 30 days, during which it sheds 5 times. All this time, the larva lives as an external parasite on the body of the bear. The bear dies shortly before the larva pupates.
These wasps have thin black bodies with bright red belly. These are large wasps - they can reach 4 centimeters in length.Sandy ammophile is one of the largest representatives of the family.
A sandy ammophile feeds its larvae with caterpillars of a scoop living in the ground. The wasp searches for the victim, drives it to the surface of the earth, paralyzes and drags it to its mink, and the victim is several times heavier than the wasp. The female pulls the caterpillar of the scoop into the nest, lays an egg on it, then closes the mink and masks the entrance to it.
Filant - a bee wolf
Representatives of this species are distinguished by large heads with powerful jaws. The bee wolves are quite strong and large. The chest of the wasp is black, on the back there are 1-3 white stripes, and the stomach is bright yellow.Bee wolf is a killer of honey bees.
The philanthropists were called bee wolves for killing honey bees. When the bee collects nectar, the philantine rushes sharply at her, grabs her legs and stings her neck, after which the bee dies. After that, the bee wolf makes rhythmic movements of its paws and squeezes honey from the bee's goiter, and then licks it with the help of the tongue. When a bee wolf completely devastates a bee, he takes it into a mink, in which hungry offspring are already waiting.
Bee wolves cause serious damage to beekeepers when they settle close to the hives, since the bees do not leave the hive and stop collecting honey. In such a situation, the queen bee does not lay eggs, and the colony gradually weakens.
A distinctive feature of road wasps is that they lay larvae in the bodies of spiders.Road wasp, an insect that lays larvae in the bodies of spiders.
The benefits and harms of digging wasps
As a rule, most of the species of burrowing wasps are beneficial insects, since they destroy the pests that feed their offspring. The only exception is the bee wolf.