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Habitat for the Tarantula Hawk

P. mildeiHabitat for the Tarantula Hawk (Pepsis thisbe and Pepsis mildei). A wash about 4,000 feet in the San Gabriel Mountains, California. The key to finding Pepsis wasps is finding their nectar sources. The yellow flower in this picture is scale-broom (Lepidospartum squamatum); one of their all-time favorites. In Southern California this flower only blooms in the late summer and fall; in synch with the emerging Pepsis wasps. A. halesusThis same flower is also a favorite of the Great Purple Hairstreak butterfly (Atlides halesus). When scale-broom is growing in the same area as trees with mistletoe (larval food plant of the hairstreak) you are likely to find this butterfly nectaring on the flower right beside the Pepsis wasps.

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