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Wasp watch at Ontario Town Park Friday

A remarkable natural phenomenon is occurring right now within the Ontario Town Park. One of the native, solitary wasps is mass nesting.

The Wasp Watch will begin at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, July 25, in the park. Those attending are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and camera, after which there will be a short lesson on the natural history of these wasps. Then attendees will move the nesting ground to try and record on camera a wasp carrying a cicada.

Cicada Killer wasps are the largest wasp in Northeast Indiana. The mere sight of them can be startling. But their manner is completely disinterested in people, or much else for that matter, except cicadas. Cicadas, the large buzzing, summer insect, is prey for feeding larvae of this wasp. These wasps are large enough to catch, paralyze, and carry an adult cicada to the brood tunnel.

A wasp this large causes many to be concerned, but they are completely harmless. They are not aggressive like their cousin the yellowjacket. They are very territorial, which is why they seldom nest near each other. The sandy ball diamond of Ontario Town Park is easy to dig into and they are tolerating each other for the sake of easier nesting.

Ontario Town Park is located near the intersection of CR 405N and CR 230E.