Backyard Buddies
Hairy Flower Wasp

Photo: John Tann

Hairy Flower Wasp

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Hairy Flower Wasps are members of the Scoliidae wasp family, which has 300 species.

Other names for the Hairy Flower Wasp include the Black Flower Wasp and the Blue Flower Wasp.

Male wasps are more slender than females and have slightly longer antennae. Female wasps have long, spiny legs intended especially for digging in soil to find beetles to lay eggs in. The Hairy Flower Wasp does not kill the host beetle instantly, but instead paralyses it while it lays eggs.

They're a large, hard-to-miss wasp and a helpful, friendly springtime visitor.

The best thing you can do for these friendly wasps is mind where you step and sit! They hover over chopped mulch, compost heaps and wood piles in the garden, watching for a chance to catch a grub or beetle.

Hairy Flower Wasps can also be spotted around flowers and shrubs. Since they fly very low to the ground and sometimes walk and dig around the soil, they can sometimes be difficult to spot in time. The female wasp has a sting, but she is not aggressive to people and will not use her sting unless she is in real danger.

You can look after Hairy Flower Wasps in your own backyard

Hairy Flower Wasps are great for your garden. After mating, the female digs into the soil and finds a grub or beetle. She paralyses it temporarily and lays her egg in it. As the larva grows, it uses the host as food. Because of this, Hairy Flower Wasps and their larvae will help your garden by keeping your grub and beetle numbers down.

You can encourage Hairy Flower Wasps to do their job as pest controllers in your garden by not using chemicals and pesticides. This will also encourage other natural pest controllers such as ladybeetles, lizards and birds.

Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is running Backyard Buddies— to give you tips to help.

What is a backyard buddy?

Backyard buddies are the native animals that share our built-up areas, our beaches and waterways, our backyards and our parks. The Hairy Flower Wasp is a backyard buddy.

Backyard buddies are also the local people who value the living things around them, like Hairy Flower Wasps, and are willing to protect and encourage them by doing a few simple things around their own homes. So you can be a backyard buddy.

Be a backyard buddy

It’s easy. All you have to do is care... and take a few simple steps.

Step one is to find out what Hairy Flower Wasps do and do not like.

Hairy Flower Wasps love:

Nectar – which gives them energy to power their flight. Only the adult Hairy Flower Wasps drink nectar. The caterpillars eat grubs or beetles.

Mulch – which is great for keeping the moisture in the soil of your garden, and excellent for attracting Hairy Flower Wasps. They especially like sugarcane mulch.

Curl Grubs – which you may not like in your garden, but the Hairy Flower Wasp is a great way of keeping their numbers down. The female lays her eggs in a curl grub and her larvae feed on it.

But they don't like:

Pesticides – for controlling beetle and grub problems. You’re better off encouraging the Hairy Flower Wasp to act as a natural pest control.

Space Invaders – that come to close, or sit or step on them! The Hairy Flower Wasp is not aggressive towards people and will not sting unless it is being bothered or in danger of being squashed.

Be a buddy to the Hairy Flower Wasp

Try to:

Avoid:

Don't be surprised if:

Find out more about your buddies

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