Sunday, September 6, 2009
Biodiversity Gone Good: Our Friendly Wasps
Thus, overly aggressive hunting wasps would tend to come to a bad end, but those with a more philosophical attitude, can move on, start another nest, and send daughters and sons into the next generation. That doesn’t mean they won’t put up a bit of a fight, many are capable of delivering a painful sting, but in general they aren’t going to slug it out with something as large as a human. It also helps that solitary wasps are only really interested in hunting down spiders or insects to feed their grubs and an occasional sip of nectar at a flower to keep them going. When a solitary wasp finds you at a picnic, it is most likely because you have attracted flies (which many take as prey) or you have put your blanket over their nest in the ground and they can’t find their way home. Some solitary wasps are members of the Vespidae, the home of hornets and yellowjackets, or close relatives like the mostly black spider hunting wasps in the Pompilidae, but most belong to other families.