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Photo#406733
unknown insect - Tachytes distinctus - female

unknown insect - Tachytes distinctus - Female
Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama, USA
June 5, 2010
This insect has a burrow in the ground. We observed him after his entrance to his burrow became blocked with dirt stirred up by our lawnmower. He had captured a grasshopper and wanted to carry him down this hole. He set the grasshopper aside and began digging. He appreared quite agitated, flying away briefly, only to return and try again. Eventually he did make it down the hole with the grasshopper in tow. It was quite something to see in that the grasshopper was at least his size if not somewhat larger. We have no idea what kind of insect this is. Any help would be appreciated.

Images of this individual: tag all
unknown insect - Tachytes distinctus - female unknown insect - Tachytes distinctus - female unknown insect - Tachytes distinctus - female

Moved
Moved from Tachytes.

Female
This looks like a female Tachytes distinctus. (widespread) This is the first one that I have been able to ID from Alabama, congrats!

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

Tachytes
female

I can add that the Grasshopper
appears to be a last instar male nymph of Melanoplus punctulatus.

Female Crabronidae
This behavior is common in female wasps of family Crabronidae. They lay eggs in an underground burrow and the eggs hatch to eat whatever insects the mother has left inside the burrow.

Edit: More specifically, the "sand wasp" genus Stizus takes grasshoppers as prey. It is possible that other kinds do too.

 
Thanks for your help
Thank you so much for assisting me. Can you tell me more about this type of wasp. Is this a sand wasp??? Or could it be another type of digger wasp?

 
I'm not sure
I don't know a lot about these wasps. I know there are other genera of wasps that take grasshoppers as prey. Tachyspex is one, but the wasps of that genus we have in the guide lack the yellow markings on yours.

We do have wasp experts here and I hope one will be able to ID this.

This is a good "action" series.

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