Huge great Golden Digger Wasp
Location: Fairfield, Maine USA
August 23, 2010 11:53 am
Dear Bugman, the other day I was going to shoot a few Argiope aurantia we have living in the garden when I hear and saw this enormous orange black and yellow blur zipping around. I pursued it and saw it was a wasp like none I’d ever seen. It was probably approaching at least 3” long and was also quite stout. Although initially, I wanted to stay a safe distance away, it soon became clear it was not concerned with me. It would even stop, cock its head up toward me and then carry on feeding on nectar from the Goldenrod. It was hard to follow it around closely enough to get pictures because it was actually quite shy. I’ve seen it on 3 different days, so far, and hope to see it again.
Are they very solitary wasps? I feel that I keep seeing the same one, in the same area of the gardens…
The Great Golden Digger Wasp, Sphex ichneumoneus, is a solitary wasp that provisions its nest with paralyzed katydids and crickets to feed its young. Some solitary wasps like Cicada Killers and Sand Wasps nest in colonies, but we have never heard of colonial behavior in the Great Golden Digger Wasp.
Thank you Daniel,
Unfortunately, since the last time, I have not seen it again.
It has been getting cold in the evenings; do they winter over, or just die each tear?
Hi again James,
Adults do not overwinter.