Location: Northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati, OH
August 5, 2010 7:30 pm
I caught this pair of, what I believe to be, thread-waisted wasps mating in my garden today. I chased the pair around as they flew from flower to flower, snapping images of the dynamic duo.
They were seemingly oblivious to the fact that I was recording their ’George
Costanza-esque’ love-making session. 😉
Finally, the pair went their separate ways, but not before the male gave his girl one last ’love bite’.
I am assuming that the male’s protruding ’stinger’ is his sex organ? I have searched, but seem to be unable to come up with an actual term for this, other than ’genital capsule’.
I saw that you have a couple of pics of these guys already, but thought you might like these.
We love your detailed images of Mating Thread-Waisted Wasps, Eremnophila aureonotata. According to BugGuide, the species can be identified because of “The blue-black body and silve/gold patches are distinctive. The patches may wear off in older individuals (Troy Bartlett).” BugGuide also indicates: “Female digs burrow and provisions with a single large lepidopteran larvae. These are reported to include various moths from the families Noctuidae, Notodontidae (especially), and Sphingidae, and also skippers (Hesperidae). The wasp is commonly found on wildflowers with large clusters of blossoms, such as Queen Anne’s Lace, from summer into fall. One frequently observes mating pairs on the flowers.“
Thanks for the info, as always. Sorry if my email was a little ‘whimsical’. In case anyone was confused, the ‘George Costanza’ reference was a nod to ‘Seinfeld’ and George’s fantasy of ‘eating while having sex” The pair seemed to go about the business of of food while mating.
I have read that the life cycle of this wasp is very short and that the queen will often mate with many drones before depositing her eggs and dying. I also read that she will seldom mate with drones of her own hive. Poor guys! All that work and no reward.
I was amazed at how well these photos came out and am proud that you have posted them on your site. 🙂