This bizarre creature is called Gasteruption Jaculator. I kid you not! I posted some shots of this strange wasp last month, wrongly identifying it at the time as a type of sand digger wasp. I am grateful to afrenchgarden for the correct i.d.
They do look strange in flight. Well, I admit it, they look strange all the time! Strange, but harmless, to us. Not so, however, for solitary bees, on whom these wasps are parasitic. That long spike is an ovipositor, with which the female deposits eggs on the larvae of solitary bees. You can guess the rest.
For my earlier post on these weird critters, see here.
This bizarre creature is gasteruption jaculator. Whoever named it should be banned forthwith from all future namings. I am grateful to afrenchgarden for the I.D. I was wrongly was calling it a sand digger wasp. I have never seen one in my garden before this year. Yesterday I noticed one feeding on fennel pollen but was unable to get a decent shot before it flew away. So, today, I returned to the fennel plant at the same time of day and, low and behold, there it was. And I was delighted to be able to capture it in flight!
It is an elegant creature with its long spike looking not unlike a cigarette holder from the 1920s (or is that just me?). I am assuming this is the female. Her consort, a much smaller beast without cigarette holder, is below. (It’s a lousy shot, I know, but illustrative.)
For an earlier post on other wasps found in my garden, see here.