Curious gathering of hymenopterans
These guys congregate on the roots of my vanda orchids in central Florida every year. Who are they and what do they want? I am very impressed by your website and the service that you provide. As an amateur botany and entomology student for the past few decades, I have a great appreciation for the effort required by your admirably positive contribution to the information highway. Excellent work! Thanks,
This is a group of male Tiphiid Wasps in the genus Myzinum. We are including a comment Eric Eaton provide for a similar aggregation earlier in the year.
Update: (07/10/2007) Eric Explains
The wasps in the image are all males. Males of many kinds of wasps form “sleeping” aggregations like that depicted in the image. It may also be that these male wasps form “leks,” meaning they occupy a small area (lek) that the females will visit to select a mate. While the genus of these wasps certainly is Myzinum, species determination is difficult even with specimens, and certainly cannot be concluded from a photo alone.