Wasp vs. grasshopper

Wasp and grasshopper

Our yard continues to turn up interesting and surprising inhabitants. On Sunday, Jennifer discovered a couple of great golden digger wasps (Sphex ichneumoneus), and managed to get some pictures. Above, one of these wasps is doing what great golden digger wasps are known for: capturing an insect — in this case, a grasshopper — and paralyzing it, before dragging it back to one of her burrows. There, she will lay an egg on the hapless creature, which will serve as food for the larva once it hatches.

Her photos of another wasp feeding at the oregano flowers turned out a little better, but you have to admit that catching a wasp catching a grasshopper for gruesome purposes is way cooler.