Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Paper hanger

Yellow jackets and hornets make large, elaborate nests, interesting to find, but showing no sign of the internal structure. Paper wasps are less protective of their young. Lazier, more inclined to go off hunting, maybe.

I found one making her nest under the overhang of the toilets at Oyster Bay.

Golden paper wasp, Polistes aurifer, working on her nest.

These wasps build a single layer of cells hanging from a tiny stem, leaving them open to the air. The cells remain open while the young, one per cell, hatch and grow through several molts, with the adults watching over them and feeding them ground up caterpillars and other insects. (Maybe I shouldn't have called them lazy.)

When the larvae are ready to pupate, they spin their own silk cocoon to seal themselves in until they're ready to emerge as full-grown adults.

1 comment:

  1. The ones we see here (Qld . Australia) are vicious little blighters and the sting is painful. Mostly, I let them be when we lived in a rural area.But if they started building on the verandah, I stopped construction! We saw some HUGE nests, high in the trees and all the birds and animals seemed to give them a wide berth.

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