Grasshopper Hunter Wasp

Prionyx fervens

Prionyx fervens, Sphecidae wasp from the Pajarito Mountains photo © by Mike Plagens

Pajarito Mts., Sta. Cruz Co., Arizona, USA. 25 Sept. 2016. Length is about 20 mm.

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These big wasps hunt grasshoppers for a living. A suitable victim is stung in a way that paralyzes but does not kill. But before the wasp even starts the hunt she constructs a tunnel into the soil with one or more side chambers. Each chamber will get its own cache of grasshopper and one egg that will hatch, develop as a grub feeding upon the grasshopper and finally pupating before completing the cycle.

Sphecidae -- Thread-wasted Wasp Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 10 May 2015