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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!

07 September, 2016

Crabro cribrarius: the slender-bodied digger wasp

Digger wasps are another challenge to the very amateur naturalist so to find one with a distinctive feature is a real help! The slender-bodied digger wasp (Crabro cribrarius) is one of those species due to the antennae which are crumpled, by that I mean quite short and bent. The remind me of the wing mirrors on modern day coaches!
Being a digger wasp it excavates a burrow as its nest and so it will be found mainly where the soil is soft and that can be coastal areas where there is sandy soil although it will be found in other environments too including chalk grassland. The burrow has several chambers for the young wasps which the adult wasp provisions with small flies. 
This is a larger wasp and could possibly be mistaken for the common wasp but closer on inspection those crumpled antennae are unmistakable. It can be seen from June until August and whilst you might see it on the ground you are more likely to find it feeding or hunting for flies on hogweed and similar flowers.
Crabro cribrarius: the slender-bodied digger wasp