Feeding on Goldenrod
Location: Southern New York State
August 16, 2010 4:18 pm
Saw this beautiful bug feeding on goldenrod in early August. It is about 1/2” long and unfurled gray wings under the colorful shell and flew short distances when disturbed. Also the unidentified wasps were busy at work. Cicada killer?
The image of yours that we are not posting is an Ailanthus Webworm Moth, a species we have posted several times in recent weeks. We also just recently posted an image of a Digger Wasp or Blue Winged Wasp, Scolia dubia, but it was photographed in a tupperware, not in its natural environment like your lovely photo. Like many wasps, the adult Blue Winged Wasp feeds on nectar while the larvae are predatory. Since they are not terribly mobile, the female wasp provisions for her brood. In the case of the Blue Winged Wasp, the female locates and stings to paralyze the grubs of the Green June Beetle and the Japanese Beetle. According to BugGuide: “Males and females have a courtship dance, flying close to the ground in a figure-8 or S pattern. Females burrow into ground in search of grubs, especially those of the Green June Beetle, Cotinis, and the Japanese Beetle. She stings it and often burrows farther down, then constructs a cell and lays an egg on the host. Larva pupates and overwinters in a cocoon within the body of the host. One generation per year in North, more in South.” According to Mom, any creature that preys upon Japanese Beetles is aces in her garden.
Fantastic! My daughter and I love your site. Thanks a million.