Answer to the Monday Night Mystery

The great black wasp, Sphex pensylvanicus

After some guessing on the part of the commentariat and three visual hints, JasonC finally solved Monday’s psychedelic challenge. For that, I’ll award 5 points. I’ll also give Chris Grinter a point for being the first to guess the correct order, Hymenoptera.

Sphex pensylvanicus, the great black wasp, provisions their larvae with katydids. Adults are often seen hanging around meadow flowers, in this case goldenrod.

4 thoughts on “Answer to the Monday Night Mystery”

  1. Do you have a picture of a male, Alex? I’m guessing that like other Sphex wasps this is solitiary – are the males as odd as in social species?

  2. A very nice wasp, and I think we have them around here too (although I haven’t caught one yet). It looks like the ones that I sometimes see dragging paralyzed grasshoppers across the road (generally the big Carolina grasshoppers). Except that everything I read about them specifically says that they take Katydids. Are they actually that limited (in which case ours are something else), or do they take Orthoptera in general?

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