Thursday, 9 January 2014
The potter wasp (Delta arcuata) has finished her nest, laid her egg and provided her soon-to-hatch larva with a caterpillar to feed on while it grows.
Here's the building sequence. This process took a few hours. I think much of that time was spent trying to find some mud in this uncharacteristically dry and crackling landscape.
The finishing touch was the pot's flared lip. (I gave her some room for this photo. And the next one too. These wasps are not aggressive, but having a camera and flash stuck in your face might be considered provocation.)
Then it was ready for the egg.
And finally, provisions: a living caterpillar. I missed seeing her bring in the caterpillar. I would have risked a sting to get a photo of that. Possibly.
Here's a close up of the paralysed caterpillar. The head and legs are to the left. The dark spots on the side are spiracles.
It's grim, but it's also amazing.