Once placed in proximity to its future meal, how long does it take for the larva of a solitary parasitic wasp to begin feeding? I have several books on wasp behavior, but none address the time involved. An internet search also proved fruitless. I am asking out of curiosity and also to ensure accuracy in a story I am working on. I am sure it varies, I am just trying to get a general idea. For example, is it possible for larvae to begin feeding as soon as they are deposited? (Edit: I added details to this question thanks to the first answer I received on this question) (Edit: I've spent some more time looking into this and thought I'd share some information, should anyone be interested. Indeed, larvae can begin feeding within two days of being deposited. The larvae of Cicada-Killer Wasp (Sphecius speciosus), for example, begins feeding in 2 to 3 days, according to "The Strange Lives of Familiar Insects" by Edwin Way Teale. In "The Hunting Wasp" by John Crompton, the introduction sets a general range of 2 to 3 days, although I have read online of some wasp larvae taking longer.)


1 Answer 1


It depends on species and situation.

There are a lot of different solitary wasps, the kind you are referring to are parasitic wasps, that lay their eggs in or on a host for the larvae to feed on before they pupate to reach the final stage of their lifetime.

Some larvae that consume a host in groups take as little as twelve days to consume their host and eat their way out.

However, this wasp species can even have their larvae remain in the larval stage through winter and adapt through seasons. it's entirely dependent on what sort of wasp you're asking for what the time span would be for a larva to mature.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer! I tried to upvote it but am too new. What I'm wondering is when the larvae might begin eating. Could they start as soon as they are deposited by a wasp? I understand it will vary. $\endgroup$
    – Adam Orth
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 0:20
  • $\begingroup$ @AdamOrth They could indeed start eating fairly soon after the wasp has deposited them, the eggs do have to hatch first but that could be a matter of hours. $\endgroup$
    – Hyfnae
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, I suspected this but was not sure. $\endgroup$
    – Adam Orth
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 12:14

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