Orange-legged burrowing monstrosity
In the process of snapping pics of one insect I’m curious about, I seem to have captured some sort of inter-species showdown. Several of these large (~4 cm long) yellow-and-orange specimens have suddenly appeared in the garden, and are industriously burrowing sizable holes in the ground beneath a layer of wood-chip mulch. They are capable of moving pea-sized pieces of gravel, and in the span of a few hours have already dug a network of finger-diameter holes over a couple of square feet (see photo). So… (a)… what the heck are they, and (b)… what is going on in the first two photos? I was so intent on catching the digger-insects that I honestly did not even see the big green interloper. Is this a battle to the death caught on digicam here? Thanks for your site, and hope you can get to this!
Found It I’ve been looking through your site more thoroughly and have ID’d this thing – Sphex ichneumoneus, the Great Golden Digger Wasp. In the act of burying a nice fresh katydid for its maggots – er, babies, no less. Isn’t nature MARVELOUS!? Thank you for your site; this is the kind of thing that would have driven me crazy with curiosity.
We are thrilled that you found your answer on our site, and we are even more thrilled to have your excellent photo of a Great Golden Digger Wasp dragging a Katydid to its burrow.