Wildlife Wednesday

I find it so interesting the way different insects (animals in general) use different materials to build their homes, or in this case the home for their young.

I was preparing the spare bedroom which hadn’t been used for a while and found this outside the window but inside the shutters.

Another example this time on a stake to hold a garden candle (this inside the shed)

I recognised immediately what it was; but this was the first one in a reachable position that I could investigate.

The young in their individual cells

The nest is constructed of mud and stocked with spiders for its young to eat as they emerge from the chrysalis.  Several cells are connected alongside each other, sharing the mud walls, but they are individual, sealed tube. Each cell will contain one egg and be provided with food for the larvae when it hatches. The food is in the form of small spiders with between 6 and 14 per cell. These are mostly small crab or jumping spiders.

The spiders don’t seem to be dead, but paralysed by the adult’s sting so that they remain fresh for the emerging larvae.

This is the insect in question: the thread-waisted Wasp, Sceliphron spirifex.  I can’t imagine how many trips it must take to construct the nest; sometimes they are huge!

Sceliphron spirifex, Thread-waisted

21 thoughts on “Wildlife Wednesday

  1. Amazing, but I think I’m glad they don’t live here, they look as if they could give you a nasty sting! Their nests are a wonderful creation when you think they didn’t have a set of plans to consult!

  2. Wasp nests are incredible. I saw one on holiday in a wildlife reserve. It was on display and so beautiful. The papery texture and delicate nature of it are so fascinating. Not keen on wasps when they get a bit frisky in late summer though.

  3. we have mud and the non-native paper as well…paper ones are vicious and we do destroy the nests since they are non- native and attack the monarch butterflies…wasps are tricky…amazing houses they build but I give them a wide berth…nasty sting.

    • I’ve never seen the ‘paper’ wasps attack butterflies here; they do eat caterpillars, here mainly Cabbage White, so for me good to have in the garden, but they are quite aggressive if threatened. Christina

  4. What clever insects! I’m very careful of wasps since they can sting multiple times. My daughter has been stung repeatedly before. But I do admire their architectural abilities.

  5. Very interesting! I think it is fascinating how the spiders are apparently paralyzed. Isn’t that the same thing spiders do to their prey ? My husband hates wasps and carries around a can of bug spray to kill them when he is outside working. I have tried to talk him out of this, with little success.

  6. I’ve almost missed this post of yours! It’s amazing the way wasps can build nests! I find several different kind of wasp nests here as well, even though I never thought about opening one, they’re kind of creepy….

    • I don’t usually open them, or even think of doing that, but this one was on the window frame, inside where the zanzaniere (spelling) so it had to be broken, hence the photos. This is my least favourite wasp, I think it gives a bad sting so I try to keep well away from them. Christina

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.