Flower wasps are a group of insects belonging to the Hymenoptera order, and are known for their specialized feeding and reproductive habits. These wasps are important pollinators and play a crucial role in the ecosystem.
- Size: Flower wasps are small, with a body length ranging from 0.2 inches to 0.8 inches.
- Colour: They can be black, metallic green, or metallic blue with a shiny appearance.
- Body shape: Flower wasps have a thin and elongated body, with a thin waist and long legs.
- Antennae: They have long antennae that are often striped with different colours.
- Wings: Flower wasps have transparent wings, which are folded over their back when they are at rest.
- Legs: Their legs are slender and long, which helps them maneuver easily in the flowers they feed from.
- Mouthparts: Flower wasps have long, slender mouthparts that are designed for nectar feeding.
- Abdomen: The abdomen is elongated and has a smooth, shiny appearance. It may have markings, stripes, or spots that are unique to each species.
The life cycle of a flower wasp can be broken down into four main stages:
- Egg: The female flower wasp will lay her eggs within a nest she has created. Each egg is laid in a cell, which is provisioned with nectar and pollen to feed the young larva once it hatches.
- Larva: Once the egg hatches, the larva will feed on the nectar and pollen provided by the mother. As it grows, it will molt several times, shedding its exoskeleton to accommodate its expanding size.
- Pupa: Once the larva has reached maturity, it will spin a cocoon and undergo metamorphosis into a pupa. During this stage, the pupa will transform into an adult flower wasp.
- Adult: Once the pupa emerges from its cocoon, it will become an adult flower wasp. The adult will mate and lay eggs, starting the cycle anew. Some species of this wasps will only live for a few weeks as an adult, while others can live for several months.
- this wasps are solitary creatures, meaning they do not live or work in colonies or groups.
- Flower wasps construct nests in hollow stems or twigs, or in underground burrows.
- Flower wasps feed on nectar from flowers, which they use to feed themselves and their young. They are important pollinators, transferring pollen from flower to flower.
- Some species of flower wasp are also predators, hunting for other insects to feed their young.
- Flower wasps mate during the summer months. Males can often be seen hovering around flowers, searching for mates.
- Female flower wasps provision their nests with prey, laying an egg alongside each prey item so that when the egg hatches, the young larva will have food to eat.
- Flower wasps have a unique ability to blend in with their surroundings, making them difficult to spot. They are often mistaken for other insects due to their ability to mimic the colour and texture of flowers.