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The shape and color of wasp orchids look like female wasps. Many wasp orchids smell like female wasps too. The flowers trick male wasps. Males visit the flowers to mate. The wasps get pollen on their bodies. They spread pollen to similar types of orchids. Nearly 100 kinds of orchids rely on wasps for pollination.

The tarantula hawk wasp is one type of parasite wasp. This wasp hunts tarantula spiders. First, the wasp stings the spider. The sting makes the spider unable to move. Next, the wasp lays an egg on the spider. The young wasp eats the spider’s body from the inside. Eventually, the wasp comes out as an adult.

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Making Connections


Have you seen wasps before? If so, what kinds? If not, where might you find them?


Have you read books about other insects? What do they have in common with wasps? How are they different?


Some wasps live alone. Others live in colonies. What might be helpful about living alone? What might be helpful about living in colonies?

Teacher Resources

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