Saturday, February 5, 2011

Orchid Dupe Wasps

Most mornings in the last week I've opened the back door to the sight of dozens of Orchid Dupe Wasps overflying the grassed areas at a height of approximately 5 to 7 centimetres, stopping suddenly, and the female wasps digging their ovipositor into the ground.

Flying too fast for me to get a shot at them, this website gives a clear picture of an individual wasp.
http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_parawasps/OrchidDupeWasp.htm

These wasps prey on the army caterpillars which have been in plague proportions on my grassed areas, using the caterpillars to deposit eggs into. The subsequent larva will eat the caterpillar. The more the better I say, so that there will be fewer of the army worms eating a swathe through the grass.

A gratifying example, I thought, of the web of life.

Further there's been the heat, 40 degrees centigrade plus in the back yard, for a couple of days already, and distress among the worms, which in trying to keep cool in the bottom compartment of the worm farm, i'm guessing, fall through the tap hole. Every night there is quite a clutch of them in bucket under the tap. Mostly I just return them back into the top compartment, hoping for the best.

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