"Bramble-bees and Others" by J. Henri Fabre, translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos: chapters 12 to 14. Any adult Acridian approaching an inch in length suits the White-banded Sphex. The various tidae of the neighbourhood are admitted to the larder of Stizus ruficornis and of the Mantis-hunting Tachytes on the sole condition of being young and tender. "The Hunting Wasps": chapter 14.
The work of Stizus ruficornis can at once be recognized, among all the other cocoons of a similar nature, by this protuberance. Its origin will be explained by the method which the larva follows in constructing its strong-box.
No, for in some Bembex-burrows we shall find Sphaerophoriae, those slender, thong-like creatures, and Bombylii, looking like velvet pincushions; no again, for in the pits of the Silky Ammophila we shall see, side by side, the caterpillar of the ordinary shape and the Measuring-worm, a living pair of compasses which progresses by alternately opening out and closing; no, once more, for in the storerooms of Stizus ruficornis and the Mantis-hunting Tachytes we see stacked beside the Mantis the Empusa, her unrecognizable caricature.
This forms the irregular nipple which projects from the side of the shell. For the present I shall not expatiate further upon Stizus ruficornis, whose complete biography would be out of place in this chapter.
The proof of this is furnished by Stiza ruficornis, another builder of cocoons in grains of sand cemented with silk. This sturdy Wasp digs her burrows in soft sandstone.
The Palarus, who preys upon an indefinite number of the Hymenopteron clan, refuses to tell me if she drinks the honey of the Bees, as does the Philanthus, or if she lets the others go without manipulating them to make them disgorge. The Tachytes do not vouchsafe their Locusts a glance; Stizus ruficornis promptly gives up the ghost, disdaining the Praying Mantis which I provide for her.