Sunday, July 15, 2012
Two previously undisclosed wasps
With the buckwheat and the fennel both in full bloom, nectar feeders of many stripes and colors are being attracted to the back 40. On a recent day I noticed a large black wasp up in the fennel among the flowers. Using Natural History of OC as my reference, I'm thinking this is a member of genus Palmodes, a thread-waisted wasp. If so, the female stocks her nest with katydids. Possibly woe to those cute microcentrum californicum I saw earlier in summer.
Anyway, this large wasp spent a lot of time among the flowers, occasionally being harassed by a polistes or mud dauber.
Another unfamiliar wasp caught my eye among the buckwheat flowers. NHOC has a photo posted that looks exactly like this, labelled Campsomeris pilipes.
The larvae of this species is said to parasitize ground dwelling beetle larvae such as Japanese beetles; maybe green peach beetles?