How It Works
Corbis42-37292398

Are there carnivorous wasps?

Corbis42-37292398

Not in the sense of eating a diet of solely meat. Almost all wasps are parasitic as larvae, with the eggs laid into the paralysed body of an insect host so the larvae can eat it when they hatch. The adults generally just feed on nectar, much as bees do.

The parasitic wasp species are all solitary, but there are a few species of social wasp, with sterile workers providing for a reproductive queen. Some of these, such as yellowjackets, are omnivorous and both adults and larvae will feed on dead insects, fallen fruit and even carrion.

The wasps that make a nuisance of themselves at picnics are normally the social species. The adults have sharp mandibles that can slice through flesh and carry it back to the hive, however they are scavengers and won’t normally tackle living prey.

Answered by Luis Villazon