Grand Designs of the Wasp World I

[Here is another post that I saved from a warmer month, to provide material to keep me going through this bleaker time of year.]

The three little pigs built their houses out of straw, sticks, or bricks. And so do wasps.

Imagine a wasp’s nest. Paper, hanging from a tree or some eaves, right? Well yes, but that is not the whole story.

These wasps build their nests of mud (bricks!):

Mud dauber wasp nest

And add to them year by year:

Mud dauber wasp nest

The stucco nests are made by the Black-and-Yellow Mud-dauber wasp, which collects little balls of mud from puddles, and carries it to its building site. The different sources of mud produce the multi-coloured effect. 

The Grass-carrying Wasp, Isodontia mexicana, builds its nest of grass (straw!):

Grass-carrying wasp, Isodontia mexicana

These solitary wasps wriggle into crevices, like this one between two shingles, where they lay their eggs:

Grass-carrying wasp, Isodontia mexicana

Then they carry grass in their mandibles and seal the hole up:

Grass-carrying wasp, Isodontia mexicana

In this last photo you can just see an empty papery whitish carcass of a tree cricket which they stash to feed their larvae.

Grass-carrying wasp, Isodontia mexicana

Next time, I’ll return to those familiar paper nests, made of masticated wood pulp (wood!), and take you into their innermost workings.

3 thoughts on “Grand Designs of the Wasp World I”

    1. We had a grass carrying wasp last year that repeatedly built its nest in our nightly closed pool umbrella. Every morning when we opened it grass and numerous dead crickets would fall out!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s