Ammophila in May

To St Olaf. Cloudy. Temperature in the 50s. I walked the usual loop: to the wooded pond by way of the catchment pond and the trail through the trees, past the pond then across Highway 23 and back home by sidewalk (more often, I return through Lashbrook Park, especially if the weather is a little better).

Not much going on because of the weather; I noticed the Goatsbeard flowers were shut, long and scrunched together like closed umbrellas. Found a few spiders on webs in the tall grass at the shore of the pond, —a couple of jumpers and a couple of small orbweavers. On the sandy trail on the hill just north of the pond, I saw the Ammophila wasp of the year. I don’t know which species (does anyone?).

These cutworm-hunting wasps—black-bodied, with thin, wire-like thread waist, and usually a spot or section of red coloration at the beginning of the abdomen—are fascinating to watch. The females excavate a nest in the sand, with different species excavating in slightly different ways. There are over sixty species in North America, few of which can be identified by photos alone—so sayeth BugGuide. The behaviors of these wasps were studied and written about by both J. Henri Fabre and Niko Tinbergen.

Publicado por scottking scottking, 31 de mayo de 2017

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scottking

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Mayo 30, 2017 10:05 PM -05

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