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Vacation bug identification?

2009-08-24 , ,

On the first day of our beach vacation we found a number of large (about 1.5” long), red-legged, solitary wasps digging dime-sized holes in the sand between the patio pavers. They were industrious, sweeping out the sand with their forelegs and brushing it away with their hind legs. These bugs were not aggressive despite the kids’ investigations, nor were they bothered by my crouching and moving around to take snapshots with my pocket camera even when I flashed it a few inches from them. I took several shots but only two turned out okay (time for a better camera):

Digging wasp, hole #1.
digging wasp

Digging wasp, starting hole #2.
digging wasp, starting a new hole

I witnessed the wasp drag some bug into the burrow but wasn’t ready with the camera. Comparing to pictures on the ‘net, I think they are “golden diggers”.

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