|Solitary Wasp - Buprestid Hunter - Cerceris fumipennis|
In the photo below, a female wasp is about to enter her nest.
Here is a view of a nest entrance from the perspective of a player on the volleyball court.
In the photo below, one of these watchful wasps is getting a visitor.. another wasp. She took a threatening pose by rearing back with jaws agape. The visitor left.
After a rain shower, I returned to the volleyball court and found that the numerous holes had disappeared. They had all been transformed into mounds like the ones in the foreground of the picture below.
I decided to dig this wasp nest in order to view it from the perspective of an archaeologist.
|Cerceris fumipennis in underground nest|
In the photo above, the female wasp is hiding out about three to four inches below ground. She was emphatically warning me with buzzing noises. Notice the partially plugged tunnel. The tunnel entrances start out vertically then begin to angle.
In the photo below, the profile shows a tunnel with a cell at the end which contains several buprestid beetle remnants and a large wasp larva.
There were several isolated cells associated with this entrance. Each cell was provisioned with a few metallic wood borers. The wasp larva of each cell were obviously of different ages.
This is a closer view of the cell pictured above.
Here is a sampling of the metallic wood borers contained in a few of the cells of the wasp's nest. The wasp provide the beetles for their larvae to feed on as they develop. The wasps hunt these beetles, sting them, bring them to the nest and place a few in a cell, lay an egg there, and plug the cell. Then they repeat the process.
|Buprestid beetles - Dicerca spp. - provisions for Cerceris fumipennis larvae|
"We live on the rooftops of a hidden world. Beneath the soil surface lies a land of fascination, and also of mysteries..." --Peter Farb Living World
Here is a link to a video on Cerceris fumipennis.