Scolia dubiaScolia dubiaDigger wasps (Scolia dubia) hide their lights under their dark blue-black wings. Scolia dubia“Blue-winged Wasp” is another common name for them.IMG_3774A bunch of these were looping over a strip of dirt on the edge of First Avenue at 41st, rather industrial ground for natural history, except for the feral cats and Paulownia and Ailanthus trees. But as is so often the case, the barrenness of the urban setting is deceiving. The wasps were hunting for grubs — of Japanese beetles, May and June bugs, etc. — beneath the surface, which they burrow after to sting and lay their eggs on. When not on the hunt for fresh grub meat for the next generation, they gather nectar for themselves, as this example (pics 2 & 3) in Green-Wood.

2 Responses to “Diggers”

  1. 1 Carol Levine September 1, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Hi – can you tell me the identification of the shrub in pictures 2 and 3? I t looks like something I have been trying to put a name to. thanks, Carol Levine

    • 2 mthew September 1, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      We think it’s Snakeroot. My horticulturist friend, who btw seems to have taken your winter ID class at NYBG, says it’s not the ‘Chocolate.’

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