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When it comes to diverse lifestyles in the animal kingdom, wasps provide some of the most intriguing examples. From minute parasitoids that complete their entire life cycle within the egg of another insect to large predators that can tackle a tarantula, wasps are both captivating and disconcerting.
They are important biological controls of many pest insects, the social species are among the most successful animals on Earth, and the fact that some can sting makes them intimidating. We will explore the biology and ecology of this fascinating group through colorful photographs of the beasts and their behaviors.
Valerie Bugh is a local naturalist specializing in the arthropods of the Austin area, with interests in taxonomy and photography. She runs the Fauna Project at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, leads insect discovery walks, teaches entomology courses, provides insect/spider identifications, gives talks to local organizations, and is the author of pocket guides to “Butterflies of Central Texas” and “Spiders of Texas.”