Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Mud construction

Around the house some of the most evident insect activity is the presence of mud wasp nests, as the wasps take advantage of shelter from the weather that is provided under eaves, around windows, doors and any convenient niche.
Most nests are small but one wasp, the Large Mud-nesting Wasp Abispa splendida, builds quite large constructions to store the caterpillars on which their eggs are laid, as the ready food supply for the larva.

The nests contain a number of individual cells and once the new wasps have emerged from their pupa they excavate their way out of the nest. This must be quite a feat as the nest is like concrete. The body of the wasp is about 25mm and the size of the nest is most often about 150mm in length, 75mm wide and 50mm thick. 
This nest is one of two that are being competed at the moment by two pair of these wasps. On the top right of the photo below there are two old mud nests made by one of the smaller species of mud wasps.

1 comment:

  1. A very interesting post Ian and what fascinating wasps! :)