Flower wasps, also known as spider wasps or pompilid wasps, are a group of solitary wasps that belong to the family of pompilidae. They are called flower wasps because some species are commonly found on flowers, where they feed on nectar and pollen.
Flower wasps are found worldwide and are known for their striking colours and patterns. They are important predators of spiders and play a major role in controlling their population.
The Appearance of Flower Wasps:
Flower wasps can vary in appearance depending on the species, but they generally have a distinctive look. Here are some common features of flower wasps.
- Size: 0.5 to 5 cm in length.
- Colour: Metallic shades of blue, green, or bronze, or a combination of black, yellow and white. Some species have brightly coloured wings.
- Body shape: Long slender body with a narrow waist.
- Wings: Two pairs of wings that are transparent and can be either clear or lightly tinted.
- Antennae: Long thin antennae that are usually black or brown in colour.
Flower Wasp’s Habits:
Female wasps are known for their hunting abilities. They search for their prey and capture them, which they use as food for their larvae. After capturing prey like a spider, the female wasp paralyzes it with her venomous sting. Then carries it back to her nest where she lays an egg on the spider’s body. The larva hatches and feeds on the paralyzed spider. Eventually killing it.
Life Of Flower Wasps:-
The flower wasps, like other members of the wasp family, involves four stages:
Egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Here is an overview of the life cycle of flower wasps:
- Egg: The female flower wasp lays her eggs on a paralyzed spider that she has haunted and captured. She places the spider in a burrow or nest that she has prepared, then lays a single egg on the spider’s body. The egg hatches in a few days and the larva emerges.
- Larva: The larva feeds on the paralyzed spider, which serves as its only food source. The spider is not killed immediately but it is alive by the wap’s venom, which paralyses it but does not kill it. The larva grows rapidly.
- Pupa: Once the larva has finished feeding, it spins a cocoon around itself and enters into the pupal stage, during this stage the larva undergoes metamorphosis and transforms into an adult wasp.
- Adult: After it completes its development, the adult wasp emerges from the cocoon. It chews its way out of the nest and begins its search for food and mate. The adult wasp will live for several weeks to a few months, depending on the species.
Overall, the life cycle of a flower wasp can take anywhere from a week to several months, depending on the species and environmental conditions. The larvae of some species may overwinter in their cocoons, emerging as adults in the following spring.
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