Field Digger Wasp Mellinus arvensis

(Linnaeus, 1758)

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Flight Period May to September



Yellow and black colours similar to true wasps however a 'waisted' abdomen more obvious Excavates deep burrow in sandy soil. Breeding cells stocked with flies, immobilised by sting; these feed the developing young.

Mellinus arvensis reverse out of the developing burrow carrying the excavated soil between the underside of their head and their forelegs, the soil or sand is generally left near the entrance. They prey on hover flies.) uses the English name "Field Digger Wasp" and describes the burrow as being a foot to twenty inches deep, in bare patches of sandy soil, with cells leading off at intervals from the main tunnel. Each cell is stocked with from 4 - 9 flies (diptera) before an egg is laid. urther notes that nests are frequently established in shady locations, an unusual habit for an aculeate.

With thanks to Stuart Roberts of BWARS on ID assistance

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