The Solitary Wasps Insect Mellinus arvensis from Europe, known as the fly-hunting wasp or the field digger wasp, is seen paralyzing a fly roughly the same size as itself, which will shortly provide a meal for the larvae. Body length 0.5 inches (13 mm).
Solitary Wasps Insect Facts:
Common name: Solitary wasps
Number of species: over 7,700 (about 1,200 US)
Size: From about 0.1 in (2.5 mm) to about 2 in (5.5 cm)
Key features: Color varied: usually striped black and yellow or black and white, often plain brown or black, sometimes with broad reddish band body shape variable, mostly typically wasplike but also long and thin; pronotum does not extend backward to base of wings (unlike in Pompilidae and Vespidae); sting present in females; wings not pleated when held at rest
Habits: Active in daytime, adults of both sexes-but especially males may be found on flowers; females mostly seen digging nests or dragging prey back to the nest some species build communal mud nests
Breeding: Mating takes place at nest sites, on flowers, or at landmarks such as hilltops; females build nests in the ground or in cavities such as hollow twigs, old beetle borings, and other concealed places, nests stocked with paralyzed invertebrates, mostly insects
Diet: Adults mainly feed on nectar or honeydew females may also sup on fluids oozing from their prey or on its crop contents, larvae feed on insects and spiders, most species only take specific kinds of prey
Habitat: Most common in dry, warm, open habitats such as deserts, also often abundant on bare city lots, sports fields, in backyards, on roadsides, in woodlands, and most kinds of habitats; less conspicuous in dense forest
Distribution: worldwide; most common in warm, dry regions.