Pycnanthemum & Friends

The mountain mint is starting to bloom. This is a pollinator attractor like few others. On this day, there were a few blooms and a trio of wasps:
Sphex ichneumoneus, or the Great Golden Digger. I usually see the golden hairs on these obscured with pollen.
Sphex pensylvanicus, the Great Black Digger. The female is one of our largest wasps, in terms of length. A lot less hair than the Golden, so probably less efficient in picking up pollen. Both of these Sphex wasps hunt katydids for their young.
Tachytes genus sand-loving wasp. Very hard to to get to species level through photos. They’re mostly grasshopper-hunters. Notably, as you can see, these three wasps eat nectar and pollen themselves. It’s their larva who are the meat-eaters.

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