Paper Wasps hover around my butterfly host plants
. They face toward the
plants and patrol, flying search patterns, seeking prey. They eat my
! This yellow and brown paper wasp is eating a
black Zebra Heliconian Caterpillar
; that's the state butterfly of
Here's one of the first wasps I saw attack a
. I saw it, ran for the camera (which will spend even
MORE time in my pocket now that I nearly missed this picture), and had
time for three quick photos before the wasp flew away with the
to have dinner elsewhere.
Paper Wasps are attracted to my butterfly host
, and they tend to live where food is readily available. These
creepy stinging bugs will use any overhang that protects them from the
sun and rain for shelter.
This wasp is building her nest on the ceiling of the corner of a porch.
I bravely stood on a chair beneath her to take pictures. She began with
one cell, and for several days diligently constructed more papery cells
in which to
rear her young.
You can see a tiny white wasp egg that she's laid in the top left
cell. Paper Wasps don't limit themselves to human dwellings; this next
one chose a Sea Grape leaf to build its wasp nest under.
Mama wasp lays a single pale oval egg midway down each hole. One end of
the egg is glued to the papery structure.
These wasps taught me the importance of actually putting the camera
strap around your wrist - always. I should have known better. After I
took this picture the wasps got a bit upset and flew, some toward me. I
jumped, the camera flew, and the lens crashed into the driveway - bye
bye camera. It was a lesson that saved my present camera. A huge
startled me recently and the
strap saved the camera during my sideways leap.
Finally, some green! Look carefully though. Beneath the new five-celled
wasp nest lurks another interesting bug
The huge green stinkbug was enjoying the fruits of this
This dark reddish-orange paper wasp is sipping on
; I've seen
a lot of bugs
enjoy that plant.
I mentioned that wasps eat other bugs
This big striped bug is a Mydas Fly
. If you
live in the south, you might recognize those flat brown burrs on the
plant behind the bugs. Those are
. They are most frequently found on your socks after
you walk through weedy areas, and they're jolly fun to pluck off by the
thousands after your kids play a rolling on the ground game of football
where they grow!
The egg hatches into a pale worm-like wasp larva that lives, face up, in
the hole, waiting to be fed by adult wasps until it pupates. When it
spins its wasp cocoon, the cell looks like it's filled with white cotton
candy puffed into a dome. It then undergoes metamorphosis, or
changes from a white slug-like larva into a full grown, flying,
stinging, caterpillar eating wasp. Ok, it eats
too - I'm a bit protective of my
, so that part bugs me the
Paper wasps also visit flowers
. This brown
and yellow wasp is perched on white
a field day there too. Unfortunately, someone decided that it was a
, and now it's a mowed grassy area.
These wasps chose to nest in a tiny hollow in a palm tree.
The chewed goo on this passionvine leaf is a
can still see a bit of orange with black spines. Here's another Gulf
that fell prey to these wasps:
There's a Paper Wasp near an ant
, and here's one perched
on a Passiflora suberosa
See the red Larra Wasp in the background?
When I glance at one of these bugs
outside, I know it's a wasp. Some of the
other wasps I've found
left me scratching
my head and asking one of my friends what it was. Look at some of the unusual wasps I've found on my
. My yard is mostly pesticide free,
but for biting ants and caterpillar eating wasps, I occasionally make an
exception and bring on the bug spray.
This last wasp was eating something. I wasn't sure what until I noticed the