Bembix furcata (Blue Sand Wasp)

Bembix furcata is mainly found from SW to SE Australia, including Tasmania.  They dig burrows in sandy soils, add a captured fly and then lay an egg on the fly.  They have been found to prey upon many different Dipteran families.  Bembix furcata is the only member of the Bembix genus in Tasmania.

Blue Sand Wasp (Bembix furcata). Female
Mid December 2012
Knocklofty Reserve, Hobart
Different individuals delivering flies to the burrow. The fly here looks likely an Anabarhynchus species.

 

Mid December 2012
Knocklofty Reserve, Hobart
The wasps had a series of burrows in the sand.  When they flew down to the burrow entrance they started to make a high pitched squeak (a similar sound to a zebra finch) until they entered the burrow.  Their flight sound is similar to a heavy blowfly.

Female
Early January 2014
Sisters Beach
Different individuals at burrows in a colony.
   

Flight patterns, sounds and behaviour around burrows.
Early January 2015
Sisters Beach

Female
Moving in to burrow
Late December 2015
Sisters Beach

Male – males lack the narrow yellow collar markings and the small lateral yellow spot on each side of the mesoscutellum. Another consistent distinction is the antennae in males are entirely black, but in females the scape is yellow beneath.

Early January 2012
Rocky Cape National Park