Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Moving on from the biggest flying thing in the world, to something far smaller, but far more frightening (apologies to Malcolm, who hates the things). WASPS!
On our walk this morning, we encountered a small wasp's nest in a tree, visible now that the leaves have fallen.
Malcolm kept walking...as I took a few pictures of this wonderfully intricate piece of house-building. If you look closely at the hole in the bottom of the - now abandoned - nest you can just make out some of the internal 'walls' of the nest. Entirely made of paper from chewed wood and saliva from the wasp, they are quite wonderful structures, even if Malcolm became a little 'twitchy' at the thought that we had walked past this nest, full of wasps, several times a week during the Summer!
A different type of wasp next, not a traditional 'stinging' type of wasp, this time an Ichneumon Wasp (Stenichneumon militarius).
This one was snapped a few days ago on the path in Shipley Park. This, large Ichneumon wasp was quite large, with a body about 1" long. No threat to humans, it would be a different matter if you were a caterpillar. Adult females, lay their eggs under the skin of a caterpillar, where the wasp larvae hatch out and begin to devour the unfortunate caterpillar from the inside - Charming!
Having eaten it's host, the larva pupates, eventually emerging as another adult Ichneumon and starting the whole cycle all over again.

By the way, today is the first anniversary of this blog! Happy first birthday Random Jottings...
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