Location: Andover, NJ
July 28, 2016 8:16 am
I was lurking around my butterfly garden this morning and happened to see this small wasp (Eumenine maybe?) subduing a large syrphid. Amazingly, the wasp took off with her prize with seemingly little effort!
Signature: Deborah Bifulco
Good Mornind Deborah,
What an amazing image. This is a Square Headed Wasp in the subfamily Crabroninae, and we believe that based on this image from BugGuide, that it is in the genus Ectemnius. According to BugGuide: “most nest in decayed wood (logs, stumps), sometimes in sound wood; provision the nests with Diptera.” The prey appears to be a Drone Fly.
Thanks so much, Daniel! I was a bit off on my wasp ID, wasn’t I? Even with multiple field guides, I still find it rather challenging to get the subfamily correct. But it sure is fun trying! I just wish our summers lasted longer – once winter comes, I’m lucky to find a shield bug.