Thursday, November 18, 2010

Steel Blue Cricket Hunter

One of my finds this summer was of a steel blue cricket hunter. The cricket hunter is a small, blue-black wasp that is about 5/8 of an inch long which feeds on nectar and pollen. This insect was actually one of the first insects that I had to research on the web five years ago when we first moved to Barrie.  I had taken a picture of one on my slide in the backyard.
cricket hunter prey Cricket Hunter and Prey
It had another insect in its grasp that it seemed to be transporting somewhere.  With a lot of help from the "What's That Bug" website, we identified it as the cricket hunter ~ and the insect in tow was a cricket which had been paralyzed by the sting of its captor.  The cricket hunter was transporting its victim to a burrow it had dug in the soil or sand.  Once dragged to the bottom of the burrow by the female, a single egg is laid on the now defenseless cricket.  The burrow is then sealed up, and the cricket hunter repeats this process by digging another burrow and finding another cricket.  Eventually, the cricket hunter egg develops into a larva and survives by eating the parasitized, and typically still living, cricket or grasshopper.  The following summer, after pupation has occured, an adult steel blue cricket hunter will emerge from the burrow to start the cycle again.  
The steel blue cricket hunter enjoying some nectar from my garden
Photographing these critters can be quite challenging!  I love their colours and find them extremely fascinating, but they are fast, unpredictable fliers!  These shots are taken with a 60 mm macro lens, which means that I am working very close to my subject.  I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of being up close and personal with any kind of wasp or bee.  I managed 8 shots of this critter before my flight instinct kicked in.  Last thing I want to do is tick this guy off! 

More information can be found on the cricket hunter at the following websites:


  1. Excellent your great post.This post is important for sport's.This post give more important knowledge of cricket.Your post is helpful and important.Thanks a lot for share your great post.

  2. Really they are quite passive if left to their business.Awesome creature.