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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

12 September, 2016

Cerceris arenaria: the sand tailed digger wasp



Being a species that digs a burrow for its young to develop in the sand tailed digger wasp (Cerceris arenaria) is found where the digging is easy. Quite rare nationally it is frequently found on some of Dorset's more sandy heaths, particularly to the north of Poole harbour, and along the sandy cliffs around Bournemouth and Southbourne.
Their striking yellow and black abdomen give the impression at first glance that they are the common wasp but on closer examination they can be seen to be a much more slender insects and the markings are quite different. 
The adults are on the wing in July and August and they have a real taste for weevils which, apparently, they carry back to their burrows upside down. I guess the underparts are softer and easier to grip?
Cerceris arenaria: the sand tailed digger wasp