Parasitoid wasp and a hapless caterpillar

A bit of drama played out today while I was weeding my cactus garden. I noticed a wasp paying lots of attention to a small object laying in the sand. It appears to be a small tomato hornworm and it was not going to be a good day for it.
Laying paralyzed in the sand a caterpillar awaits a visitor
A parastoid wasp with the future food source for her young
“Smile you are on camera”
This is enlargement of the previous shot because I noted her mandibles form a smile.
I left the scene for a few minutes and when I returned the caterpillar was gone and the wasp was filling in a hole.
She dug in the sand the same way a dog might. The entire time her wings beat furiously and it was quite loud.
I was very close when I took these shots.

Finishing touches

Almost finished.

Finished, hole complete, eggs laid and food source in place.

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