Mating Cutworm Wasps
Genus Podalonia

male and female Podalonia
While traveling in the mountains above Strawberry Reservoir, we stopped at a pull-out on a
dirt road and I found this camera-friendly wasp. Thinking it was only one wasp, I took a
couple of pictures and then left. When I got home it was then that I discovered that one wasp
had actually been two wasps.  I had no idea the male wasps could be so small compared to
the female.
If I tried, I don't think I  could ever come close to getting this kind of shot again.
It's a once-in-a-lifetime treat.
Carol Davis, 7-25-2011

two wasps
  These wasps provision their nests with cutworm moth caterpillars. Bugguide states that this genus
of wasp excavates its nest before laying eggs, which is the reversal of most wasps. The prey is then
placed inside a cell where one egg is laid as food for the hatching larva.  Carol Davis, 7-25-2011

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