Sunday, 12 January 2014

Potter wasp update

This second wasp nest was in an inconvenient spot, so I removed it. I had thought it abandoned, but there was a single larva inside, dangling from a thread. The larva was alive, but the nest had not been provisioned with food.

View from inside the nest
I wasn't sure what to do. I couldn't stick the nest back on the wall and the the mud was too crumbly to glue to a glass microscope slide, which would have let me watch the wasp's development inside the nest. So all I could think of doing was placing the larvae in another wasp nest. I'm not sure if that was a good idea or not. Perhaps there's a way of making an artificial nest to observe development?


Anonymous said...

Could you have put the whole nest in a drinking glass or glass bowl? I suppose there was no way to paralyze a caterpillar for it tho... Cynthia

Snail said...

Feeding it was the problem. If I'd thought about if for a while, I could probably have come up with a solution, but I acted too precipitously!

Anonymous said...

Maybe putting it into a (tea)pot that you could take the lid off?
maybe velcro it to the wall?

Full Of Ideas for Next Time!

Gail Dore said...

Intriguing! I'm wondering if one could pin a caterpillar onto the nest. I mean, literally, with a pin. Would it stay alive long enough for the wasp larvae to feed on it?

Snail said...

I suspect it would, but I think I'd be too squeamish for that!