Sphex ichneumoneus (Linnaeus) 1758. The great golden digger wasp is widespread over much of North America and its range extends deeply into South America (Krombein 1979). In Michigan, it is most common in the SLP with fewer records northward, and is unknown from the UP.
BIOLOGY: Females nest in hard-packed sandy or gravelly soil, with several cells per nest provisioned with two to four Tettigoniidae. Neoconocephalus ensiger (Harris) adults and nymphs are utilized as prey in Michigan (pers. obs.). Krombein (1979) listed all of the recorded prey and references for this well-studied species. More recently, Brockmann (1979, 1980) and Brockmann, Grafen and Dawkins (1979) discussed effects of environmental factors on nesting behavior, nest-site selection, and various nesting strategies (e.g., some females may usurp others' nests).
FLOWER RECORDS: Asclepias tuberosa, Asclepias sp., Daucus carota, Eryngium yuccafolium, Melilotus alba, M. offrcinalis.
COLLECTION DATES: 130 specimens, 8 June to 27 September, with most dates in late July to mid-August.
BACK to Main Page