Archivos de Diario para julio 2018

05 de julio de 2018

An aphid wasp gets lucky

20 June 18: I've been watching aphid wasp [Pemphredon (?)] nests in an old rotting log off and on for the last few days. There is one particular entrance which nearly always has a male (at least I think it's a male) standing nearby. He stands there waving his antennae, staring at the tunnel entrance. Occasionally another (male?) wasp comes by and, after a brief altercation, he (or the other male) returns to stand watch above the hole. This series of events continued, as long as the weather permitted, for the last few days.
But yesterday the watching male got lucky. Finally one (a female, I assume) came out and the waiting wasp immediately pounced on it, with both tumbling to the ground, mating for a minute or two.

20 June 18: The nest site was even more active today, with several males hangin around fighting to be the one waiting at the hole entrance. By the late afternoon, there was less activity. I suspect all the wasps in the nest had emerged. I saw one (female?) enter the nest. I suspect the nest is being re-used by a new female.

21 June 18: Guess I was wrong about the nest being emptied. I went out around noon after the morning rain stopped to check on the Pemphredon nest. As soon as I arrived a male was watching the hole and a female was emerging. When the female came out, the male pounced on her. They remained attached for several minutes until the male flew off with the female under him, landing on my leg. Got lots of good pictures this time. Sent to BugGuide and IDed as Pempredon.

Anotado en 05 de julio de 2018 a las 04:31 PM por swells swells | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Pemphredon wasp with prey

I spent a few minutes yesterday afternoon (July 4) watching Pemphredon wasps come and go to their nests in the rotting log. I suspect that by now all of the wasps have emerged from the nest where they spent the winter as prepupae. Females have mated with the waiting males, and the former are busy with their nests while the latter have gone off to die -- after the lucky ones have performed their only real function in life.

I noticed that the females seem to be returning with small prey, but they moved too fast to get a picture of them before they entered the nest. So I thought I'd try to capture one in a vial, then cool her down to take some pictures. I suspect the prey is an aphid, but I'm not sure -- so, as usual, I sent a photo into BugGuide for an ID.

Anotado en 05 de julio de 2018 a las 05:05 PM por swells swells | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de julio de 2018

A new community at the spruce stump

By the end of June, the mason bees and their predators and parasites on the old spruce stump were pretty much gone. But now it's an active place again. A crabronid wasp (Trypoxylon) is nesting in a drilled hole, as are two species of Megachilid bees. I also noticed a small black bee as it was leaving a tiny beetle(?) hole. And a cuckoo wasp was exploring the nesting sites of the new occupants. Since they were all moving a bit too fast to photograph, I captured them in vials, cooled them down, took some pictures, and released them. Hope they find their way back to the stump.

Anotado en 15 de julio de 2018 a las 02:56 AM por swells swells | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario