|An insect nest in our toolshed - probably made by a mason wasp (subfamily Eumeninae)|
and bits of research that grab my attention. As well as blogging, I undertake professional ecological & wildlife surveys
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Tuesday, 4 June 2013
One man and his wasp-shed
I often write about invertebrates found in our back garden, for various reasons - finding them is convenient, I'm often here, and they are a good indication of the interesting species that may arrive if a garden in managed in a wildlife-friendly way. I'm used to finding spiders in the shed, dead-wood invertebrates in the wood-store and so on - however, I wasn't expecting to find this...
The nest is wedged between the door-frame of the shed and a long hoe-handle hooked above it. Each cell (there are about 10-12) is around 1cm in diameter but apart from that, no clues as I haven't seen the insect that made them. However, the overall form is, I think, like those made my some mason wasps (Family Vespidae, subfamily Eumeninae) and I have seen a few in our garden in previous years. One of the 'mud-daubers' in the genus Ancistrocerus seems a reasonable guess, but I'll have to wait and see what appears and will definitely investigate the nest closely after emergence. Each cell should have prey items inside for the larvae to feed on - these can be from a wide range of other invertebrates. I will also look out for the smaller jewel wasps (Chrysididae) as these are parasites of eumenines, and I have also seen a few of these using our garden. Should I see anything interesting, this is where you'll read about it!