Wednesday, August 27

Village of the Parasitic Wasps

27th August
Our current big filming location is Wasp Village, a prairie-like area along the banks of a big lake not far from the Lovely House. A complex network of wasps and other bugs live here and do thrilling things.

The Sand Wasp (ammophila) for example; She drags a juicy caterpillar that she's paralysed, to a site she likes the look of, then digs away at the sandy earth like a demented terrier. Hole dug, she grasps her prey, gives it another sting to keep it quiet, hauls it down the hole and lays an egg on it. She then goes to a lot of effort to close up the hole, finding a stone to fit the hole entrance and kicking the excavated sand around it. Then she presses her head against the stone and uses her body as a pneumatic drill, vibrating herself to settle the sand in firm around the stone. Finally she kicks a bit more sand around the site to make it invisible and prevent penetration by her competitors.

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