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Help Me ID This Wasp! (NOW ID’D)

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UPDATE : Thanks to all those that helped, it has been identified as a species of Digger Wasp with the scientific name of Sphex maxillosus.

I have a solitary Wasp in the garden and it’s digging a tunnel in the grit between our Calçada. I have looked through many resources and cannot ID it. The closest I have found is a Hover Fly Parasite Wasp, but it lacks the white strips on the rear legs.

As you can see in the 2nd photo, its grabbing pieces of grit in its mandible and dragging it out of the hole. It is around 7cm long, so quite a large Wasp.

Anyone know?


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A Male Glow Worm/Firefly Lit Up

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Last year I wrote a post about a female Glow Worm, rather than re-write all the information, you can read it HERE.

In the post I wrote that only the females light up. I was clearly wrong.

Last night a male landed on me (only males have wings) and when I removed him I noticed he was glowing. He hasn’t the output that the females have but still glowing. I took these snaps on my phone before returning him to the garden where he continued to glow.


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Back-lit Flora

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I was late taking Wally out this morning after a late night in the studio. I have had a lot of Real Estate work (FotoSul) over the last few days and I’d rather process the photos at night!

It was 10am before we headed out and many of the bird life, apart from the Bee-Eaters were quiet due to the already above 30 deg heat. The sun at 10am is strong and high at this time of year, so I used it to capture from back-lit shots of some of the plant life. Here are 4 that I captured. Each photo is taken with -2EV (Exposure Compensation) dialled in. The dark background is provided by some distant trees blocking the sunlight.

First up, one of Emma’s favourite plants, the Allium.

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Back-lit Allium
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Another Pink & Green Conehead Mantis!

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A few days ago we had a pink & green Conehead Mantis turn up in the garden. Tonight we were eating dinner out on the terrace when another came and landed on Emma’s leg. Lets just say the shock was enough to silence the local wildlife, although not scared, it was the shock that set her off!

This one was slightly smaller than the one a few days ago and is again a male due to the feathery antennae. He was maybe smaller but a much better model and as you can see, knew how to work the camera! I think it looks like he’s busting a dance move in a 70s Disco.

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Conehead Mantis

A Stunning Green & Pink Conehead Mantis

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Tonight there was a call from the kitchen; “Craig, there’s a big Mantis on the window”. I went to look and it was a Conehead Mantis outside catching all the small flies being attracted to the kitchen light.

I grabbed my camera and it flew to the table on the terrace where I was able to grab a shot of it. There are a lot of different tiny young Mantis around the garden at this time of year as they hatch from their egg sacks (remember this post of a baby last year?), but this one was a fully grown adult at around 8cm long. This is a male as the female lacks the feathery antennae.


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Honey Bee & French Lavender Backlit By The Morning Sun

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I’ve been so carried away with all the activities of Springtime that I have not taken any “Artmospheric” shots lately. Yes, that’s a word I made up! So this morning I waited patiently at this French Lavender Flower that was nicely backlit by the sun with a great dark canvas provided by a distant Eucalyptus Tree that was in the shade.

I didn’t have to wait too long (thankfully for Wally’s sake who was getting bored!) until a Honey Bee turned up and managed to shoot this photo. This has kicked started me to take more “Artmospheric” shots and hope to bring you more soon!

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Honey Bee & French Lavender Backlit By The Morning Sun
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