The sand digger wasp (Ammophila sabulosa) paralyses its prey
We encountered another variety of sand digger wasp on the heath recently – this time Ammophila sabulosa, which uses caterpillars to feed its larvae.
Sand digger wasps’ prey may be 10 times heavier than the wasp itself
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!
Female sand digger wasps excavate a short burrow in sand
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: