Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mason Wasp

 Granddaughter told me of a mud wasp nest her Dad had found that was attached to their bbq pit.  We harvested it and began opening the cells to see what type of prey the adult had gathered and stored for its prodigy.  When we opened the first cell a fully developed mason wasp (Euodynerus apopkensis) began to crawl out.  It flew a short distance and landed nearby, and began twitching its thin, cellophane-like wings to and fro as if to stretch them following its long nap inside the lump of dirt, before flying away.
In another cell though we found another wasp that was not quite developed.  Its white form almost appeared ghost-like. 
We both felt a sense of guilt for disturbing it, so we decided to placed it back into its cell and then we collected some dirt, which we wetted and sealed the hole enclosing the pupa inside.  We then took the nest and placed it in one of her bug boxes. We’re hoping that it will continue to develop and then dig its way out, then we’ll release it.
I’ve seen this particular wasp in other areas, once in our firewood pile.  We had been rummaging around in the wood for geckos when we spotted one halfway into what appeared to be the exit hole of a wood-boring beetle. 
Not sure what it was looking for.  I later found out that these wasps will utilize or “repurpose” paper wasp nests.  Maybe it was repurposing the exit hole/tunnel of the beetle. 

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Blogger Glenda from Florida said...

My garden club made mason wasps nesting blocks at one of our workshops. I live in Florida and they are starting to use my nesting blocks. They are a tiny wasp but do a lot of good work. I am enjoying watching them go through their life cycle.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Jace Stansbury said...

Glenda- I've always wanted to make a nesting block. That would be something fun to do with my grand-daughter! Thanks for the comment and for reading my blog!

9:17 AM  
Blogger RainPebble Waters said...

For the last couple of years during the hot months here in Florida whenever we walk up our wooden stairs to the porch we hear a faint buzzing but looked everywhere for a wasp nest or a bee and could never see anything. Well yesterday I was walking up the stairs after spraying under the stairs for paper wasps and knocking down their nests and I was stung as I reached the 3rd step, didn't see anything flying around when I felt the sting. So today I was inspecting very closely along stairs and found 3 holes burrowed into the wood and caught an all black looking wasp with brownish red bands which looks just like the mason wasp. I filled in the holes but not sure if this is what stung me.

10:14 AM  

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