Video: Sandy Wasp. Beneficial Insects. A Photo
On a hot afternoon, it seems, all living things, thawed by the heat, hid. Even flies, lovers of the sun, are not visible, the chirping of grasshoppers has died down in the grass, hung on the blade of a dragonfly, unable to budge. And only on a sandy hillock do ammophile wasps run - one and a half to two centimeters bustle with black breasts and legs, a red belly with a blue tip. One digs a burrow, the other, saddling a thick caterpillar, which is 10 times larger than itself, pushes the prey to a round hole in the ground. Here the wasp left its load at the entrance, dived into the darkness, jumped out a minute later, perched on the caterpillar and, backing away, began to drag it into the dungeon.
If you penetrate with the ammophila into its pantry, along a steep 5-7-centimeter corridor we will get into a round “hall”. At the bottom of its wasp, making a lot of effort, rolls its prey into a bagel and lays a small white testicle on it. Then the ammophila gets out, carefully heaps up the corridor with grains of sand and levels the soil so that it is difficult to assume that earthworks have been in full swing here recently …
There, in the thickness of the sand, an ammophila larva will hatch from the egg and begin to eat the caterpillar hidden by the caring mother. The food will not dry out, will not rot, because Ammophila knows the secret of making "live canned food" for her offspring. The wasp takes a lot of time and effort. First, ammophila long hunts down prey - caterpillars of scoops, moths, leaf rollers - somewhere in the garden, in the garden, in the forest or field. Taking aim, she jumps on the victim and strives to drive a sting into her body. If this succeeds on the first try, the caterpillar no longer resists. With each new sting, she becomes more passive. Finally, for the sake of order, the wasp slightly remembers its head with its jaws, and that the victim is alive can only be judged by a slight convulsion, occasionally running through the body. This is the kind of food that ammophiles feed their "children" with.
If the caterpillars come across too small, it drags them into the "house" in several pieces and puts them in a stack, and attaches the testicle to the top one, so that it would be more convenient for the larva to move from the first "dish" to the second, third, fifth …
When all the food is eaten and only skins and heads remain from it, the wasp larva weaves a cocoon and pupates in it. Here it will winter safely, and in spring, when the sun warms up the sandy hillock, the young wasp will gnaw through the walls of the cocoon, make its way through the sand-filled corridor and get out into the wild. Light and warmth will help her to spread her wings, gain strength. Blooming herbs will give her food. A young ammophila will become an adult wasp, eggs will mature in its abdomen, and an ancient instinct will push it to dig holes and search for food for posterity.