Are these bugs wasps?
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
August 14, 2010 10:30 am
I’ve noticed a large number of bugs today flying close to the ground in our backyard. They look to be Black bodied,with 4 dark colored wings that fold into one. The rear part of their body, however, is brown and has 2 distinct yellow spots. I’m trying to figure out if they are wasps. Sorry my pictures aren’t too good, I caught one in a Tupperware container.
This is a Digger Wasp, Scolia dubia, and BugGuide has some interesting information about it, including: “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.“