Thursday, 27 January 2011

Cicadas beware

With so many Cicadas around at present their predators have gathered to make the most of the abundant offerings. Whilst the birds are the most obvious of the hunters the Cicada-killer wasp takes the prize for taking on a prey much larger than itself. The Cicada-killers or Club Wasps belong to the family SPHECIDAE and there are around 420 species of these predatory wasps in Australia. Their prey includes spiders, caterpillars, beetles, and many other insects. The Cicada-killer Wasps Exeirus lateritius are very obvious around the house as they are very large at around 40mm and their strong colour combination makes them stand out as they feed on nectar (as the prey is for their larvae) with a particular favourite flower being the Honey Gem grevillea with its nectar laden flower spikes.They also are regular visitors to the lily tub to get a sip of water.

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