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wasp reunion? - Scolia dubia - male

wasp reunion? - Scolia dubia - Male
Medford, (~25 miles east of Philadelphia, PA) Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
August 17, 2007
although these wasps come to flowers, it didn't seem like that was the attraction at this gathering. And they weren't really moving much either - they seemed to be "sleeping". It was on toward sunset, but still very warm and plenty of light, so I'm not sure what was drawing them to this gathering - any thoughts?

Images of this individual: tag all
wasp reunion? - Scolia dubia - male wasp reunion? - Scolia dubia - male

Awww They're so CUTE!! :)
We don't get these wasps here. :(
Too bad cause they're so pretty
I've always been a big fan of ''Hymenopterans'' ;)
Great find and capture!!

Male roosting places
First, congratulations for these nice pictures, showing a typical behavior of males of some Scoliid species.
Since new, virgin females emerge mainly in the morning, males cease to "patroll" for them afer mid-afternoon, by any climatic conditions. Then they begin to gather at a few seemingly chosen roosting place, where they will remain quiet until next morning.
So-called aggregation pheromones explain this gregarious behavior. These roosting places are always in the close vicinity of the leks when they patroll by sunny days. Themselves tend to be near the larval sites, where the females are looking for host Scarabaaid grubs.

Thanks Richard,
knowing my yard, there are certainly plenty of "hosts" available (I'm more of a beetle guy, so it's actually the hosts that attract me too :). But I never would have guessed your explaination of the activity pictured, especially the male-exclusive aspect. Thanks again.

Roosting wasps
I wonder if there is some evoluntionary advantage - perhaps a bird or spider or other potential predator would be less likely to attack a collection of wasps than an individual wasp. Also, all those little yellow eyes staring out...

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