Blue-winged Wasp

Putting a little extra sting into your Sunday!

This handsome creature is a Blue-winged or Digger wasp (Scolia dubia). The paired yellow spots on the reddish orange abdomen are distinctive for identifying this species, at least around here (as far as I know).

“Life style”? They dig into the ground in search of larvae of June beetles and the invasive Japanese beetle. These are parasitized for the wasp’s young. Like a lot of our wasps, the adults themselves eat nectar.

This spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata) seems to do a great job of tagging pollinators with a load on pollen on the thorax. Bees and wasps really have to get underneath an overhanging petal to reach the nectar. I’ve never seen so many dusty wasps (at least three species) as I have on these flowers, which are among the plantings of the new Green-Wood native hillside. A very active little animal. Impossible to get a good full-on photo this time.

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