Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Digger wasps

We visited the grounds of Felbrigg Hall, near Cromer, Norfolk, last week (29.7.04). Along one of the tracks were many holes of digger wasps (solitary wasps) in close association. I reckon there were at least three species involved, but it was hard to photograph the speedy blighters as they dashed into their holes carrying paralysed prey and dashed out again.

Digger wasp nests in sandy soil along a path.

A digger wasp, Cerceris sp., (perhaps C. arenaria) approaches its nest carrying prey.

One of the larger ones, however, was getting a bit knackered and dropped some of its prey, a small solitary bee. I say some of its prey, as it was resting on the ground, still holding another insect in its legs, with which it eventually flew off.

Small bee dropped by a Cerceris sp. near the nest hole.

Cerceris sp.resting after dropping prey.

The Cerceris sp. was still dragging another insect as it left the area.

Cerceris sp.having a look out of its hole pre-departure.

One of the smaller digger wasps on the site. I don't know the species?

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