Where do Scoliid wasps live?

Answered by Tom Adger

Scoliid wasps, also known as digger wasps, are found in various regions of North America, including North Carolina. In this state, they are typically seen from the month of June to October, with their population peaking in August. These wasps are most commonly found in areas with soil, such as lawns, gardens, and agricultural fields.

When it comes to their specific habitat preferences within North Carolina, scoliid wasps are not very picky. They can be found in both urban and rural environments, as long as there is suitable soil for them to burrow into. This means that they can be seen in residential areas, parks, farmlands, and even natural habitats like forests or meadows.

The behavior of female scoliid wasps is quite interesting. They fly close to the ground, scanning the soil surface for grubs or larvae of beetles and other insects. Once they detect a potential prey, they use their strong jaws to dig through the soil, creating their own tunnel or following existing tunnels made by the grubs. This behavior is known as parasitoidism, as the wasp lays its eggs on or near the living host, with the intention of providing food for its young.

The presence and abundance of scoliid wasps in North Carolina during August can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, this is the time when many insects, including grubs, reach maturity. This provides a plentiful food source for the wasps. Additionally, the warm weather and longer days of summer create ideal conditions for the wasps to be active and forage for food.

In my personal experience, I have encountered scoliid wasps in my own backyard in North Carolina. I have observed them buzzing low to the ground, seemingly in search of grubs or other prey. It is fascinating to watch them dig through the soil, disappearing into the ground in pursuit of their next meal.

To summarize, Scoliid wasps can be found in North Carolina from June to October, with their highest abundance occurring in August. They are not particularly selective in terms of habitat and can be found in various environments as long as there is suitable soil for them to burrow into. Their behavior of flying close to the ground and digging through the soil to locate grubs is intriguing to witness.