Solitary Wasps at Wolf Road Prairie

Our resident photographer Fidencio Marbella of the Westchester Library once again has captured the amazing ecology of Wolf Road Prairie through his lens.

In this pair of photos, you will find a wasp of the genus Prionyx (we believe specifically Prionyx parki).  Fidencio managed to capture this particular parasitoid capturing a grasshopper.

Wasps of this genus are solitary: rather than living in a hive nest, Prionyx digs burrows underground and lays its eggs on its host.  These wasps will sting and paralyze grasshoppers and drag their prey to their burrows where they will subsequently lay their eggs and seal the entrance.  Their young will utilize the organism for food, ultimately killing the host.

These photos not only reveal Fidencio’s keen eye for the drama that can occur in nature which usually goes unnoticed by most, but an amazing thread in the web of life.


Written & Researched by

Rita McCabe & Frank Martino

Photographs by

Fidencio Marbella