Animal Species:Sand wasps

The sand wasps are closely related to the Mud-dauber Wasp but, unlike their cousins, sand wasps nest in the ground.

Sand Wasp, genus Bembix

Jiri Lochman/Lochman Transparencies © Jiri Lochman/Lochman Transparencies

Standard Common Name

Sand wasps

Size range

2 cm

Distribution

Sand wasps are found throughout Australia.

Habitat

Sand wasps live in urban areas, forests and woodlands, and heath.

Feeding and Diet

Adult sand wasps feed on nectar but most hunt for flies to feed to the larvae in the nest. They are excellent hunters, capturing flies on the wing, paralysing them with venom in mid-air and carrying them back to the waiting larvae.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Although sand wasps may nest in a group, they do not share labour like true social insects unless the nest needs defending, in which case they may attack as a swarm.

Danger to humans and first aid

Sand wasps can deliver painful stings, but are not as aggressive as the European Wasp. They normally only attack humans if their nest is disturbed. An ice pack may be used to relieve the pain of the sting. If there is evidence of an allergic reaction, medical attention should be sought.

Classification

Genus:
Bembix
Family:
Sphecidae
Superfamily:
Sphecoidea
Suborder:
Apocrita
Order:
Hymenoptera
Class:
Insecta
Subphylum:
Uniramia
Phylum:
Arthopoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags wasps, insects, arthropods, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney,

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