We encountered another variety of sand digger wasp on the heath recently – this time Ammophila sabulosa, which uses caterpillars to feed its larvae.
Similarly to the spider-hunting wasp (Anoplius viaticus) it paralyses its victim with venom from its sting and buries it in a nest burrow. The caterpillar remains paralysed until the wasp larvae hatch out and eat it alive!
The entire nest cycle from site location, through excavation and provisioning, to finally sealing the burrow, takes 8-10 hours to complete.
Many wasps have ingenious parasitic strategies, as these earlier blog posts illustrate: