One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A solitary wasp which typically excavates a burrow in sandy soil, filling it with one or more paralysed insects or spiders for its larvae to feed on.
Families Sphecidae (which includes sand wasps) and Pompilidae (which includes spider-hunting wasps)
- ‘In this study, we investigated a solitary digger wasp, the European beewolf, Philanthus triangulum (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae), and asked whether parental behavior entails a cost to females.’
- ‘Interestingly, the great golden digger wasp, a close relative of the cicada killer, does not have enlarged spurs and digs only with its fore-legs.’
- ‘Rationality is not necessarily desirable in an evolutionary sense; all an organism needs is the ability to solve common problems in its environment, and as digger wasps show, it need not do this by thinking.’
- ‘Solitary species such as cicada killers, carpenter bees, digger wasps and mud daubers use their stingers to subdue the insects and spiders upon which they prey.’
- ‘Below my leather boots the ground is covered in an endless assortment of life: bronze pine needles, lobed oak leaves, a digger wasp.’
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