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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