Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mason Wasp Carrying a Cutworm

I saw this wasp carrying a caterpillar on my gate post when I came home from the grocery store. I turned off the car and started filming him. I sorta got bored because he was just wandering in circles then "POPSICLES!" I had to go put away the groceries. I never figured out where he was going with that caterpillar. And yes, it's probably a female wasp, but I picked another song in the male perspective, so I'm calling it a him.

According to the Audubon Guide to Insects this is a Mason Wasp. They lay their eggs in the abandoned cells of dirt dauber nests and sometimes in pre-existing cavities, like that hole in the pressure treated latch of this gate post that a carpenter bee bored out. This wasp must have fallen out of it when I opened the gate. The guide says the females provision their egg with paralyzed cutworms, which are the larvae of moths (caterpillar is not an inaccurate identifier). So I identified predator and prey in just one field guide description!

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