Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baby Wasps Got to Eat

Here's a doting motherly wasp on my driveway. You'll notice she's got a spider in tow. Earlier she found this spider and stung it just enough to permanently paralyze it. She'll haul it back to her nest, probably made of mud in some inconvenient place on equipment or in my shop, and lay her eggs on this spider. Since the spider is paralyzed, it'll stay fresh until the wasp larva hatch. Then the babies buffet will begin. Good for the wasps, not so good for the spider. Nature's not all bunnies and rainbows is it?


  1. I think that those wasps are really fascinating. There's a wasp in arizona and the southwest that preys on tarantulas in the same way. It stings the tarantuala twice; once to put it under, and then a second time to do brain control.

    It actually has the tarantula walk into its lair and lay down. the tarantula is too big for it to carry, and that second sting somehow lobotomizes the tarantula in such a way that it will willingly follow the wasp whereever it leads. It's amazing.

  2. Yeah, as a kid I grew up in SE Arizona watching those tarantulas. Those were some massive spiders out there. Weirdly enough, we've got roadrunners, scorpions, tarnatulas and other desert critters here in NW Arkansas due to a dry period a thousand or so years back.