Just before Christmas we were in Tempe Reserve & my eye focused high up in a dead tree on what I thought were seedpods. Once I downloaded the photos I could see that these were in fact insects. A call out had them identified as Black Flower Wasps (Discolia soror). Very exciting.
Black Flower Wasps are Australian native wasps with iridescent blue wings. They can be found throughout mainland eastern Australia. They are usually solitary, but often come together in mid to late summer.
Although large at 3cms & may appear alarming to those who are afraid of insects, Black Flower Wasps are not aggressive & do not need to be killed or controlled.
They are good for the environment & being nectar-eaters, do the useful & essential work of pollinating native plants & trees.
Their life cycle is a horror story for scarab grubs though. Adult female wasps burrow into the soil to locate grubs. Once they find one, they sting it & lay an egg on the back of the grub. After a while, a wasp larva emerges & feeds on the living grub until the wasp larva finishes its development. An adult Black Flower Wasp emerges from the ground the following season ready to start the cycle again.