Safari Sunday

It looks like my spider wasps are still around, after spotting one carrying a spider to her hole a few years ago I haven’t since witnessed any with pray but I assume they’re still nesting on the back of the house.

Spider Wasp

I found this little one resting on the wall for a few minutes. We’re getting to the time of year were drunk bees are quite common.

Resting Bee

Resting Bee

This one I’m unsure whether it’s a Bee or a Wasp. It sort of looks more Beeish to me, but its long, thin abdomen is more wasp-like.

Unknown Bee/Wasp

Unknown Bee/Wasp

I was sat in the sun and my brother mentioned he just saw a little Bee going into the ‘Bee house’ with some leaves. Of course I was very surprised as thus far nothing has ever bothered with it. And just as once again I’d been considering getting rid of it, there’s activity!
The bee in question must’ve been a leaf cutter bee, and if my rose leaves are anything to go by, we should have plenty more next year!
So, as I’m checking the little bamboo holes for it to come out, I notice lots of Caterpillar/Sawfly Larvae…


What’s going on here then?? And on closer inspection I could see a few wriggling around in one of the Bamboo lengths.

After waiting a while, I see a small Wasp going in. Sure enough, it’s a Wall Mason Wasp taking in stunned prey which will feed its young once they hatch. In the top photo you can make out a green blob under the abdomen of the wasp; another caterpillar it’s found.

Wall Mason/Potter Wasp

Notice the Bamboo to the top and right? It’s been sealed over with what looks like mud? Well, that’s the Wall Mason Wasp (also known as Potter Wasp) at work too. To date it’s filled two.

I also have this one in the wall – a hole made by the wasp or was it there already? I wonder if something has hatched from this as it still hasn’t been filled in.

Wall nest?

Ah, but not all is perfect for the Wall Mason Wasp…

As this little guy is waiting nearby.

Ruby Tailed Wasp

This, my friends is the Ruby-Tailed Wasp. It likes to parasitize others by waiting for them to go, before reversing into the chamber, laying its eggs which will then hatch and eat the egg and caterpillars. Generally they use Mason Bee nests, and I must admit that I didn’t witness it entering the Wall Mason Wasp nest and I sat there a good long while, so maybe Mrs Mason’s young will be lucky.

Ruby Tailed Wasp

Shame really, as it really is beautiful.

Copyright 2014 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden

9 thoughts on “Safari Sunday

  1. Amazing photos, the Ruby tailed wasp is beautiful, the colours shining in the sun are fantastic. Nature in the raw and it all happens in your garden, I never knew that there were so many different kinds of bees and wasps.

    • Hi Pauline,

      Oh, there are far too many wasps and bees to ID. Most of them you would not be able to and really only experts would have any chance to. The same with moths really as there are many, many micro moths which are so similar that unless one is an expert, then there’s no real hope of an ID. This is why I rarely ever name bees, because so many look alike, or there’s natural variation – for example I have some almost black bumbles, which could be a black mutation of any of the bumble/carpenter bees or an actual black bee lol.

  2. I very much enjoyed your safari today, the ruby tailed wasp is a new one on me, I think I would of assumed she was a species of fly she is very beautiful though.

  3. We often get a fleeting glance at some of the creatures in our garden but it’s not until we get right up close and personal you truly appreciate their true beauty. Lucky you getting residents in your bamboo. I only find spiders in both my insect hotels.
    Yesterday, I took the Bumblebee Conservation test on putting an id to bumbles and scored only 57.4%. Have you tried it?
    Your patience to get these wonderful shots is as always remarkable Liz!

  4. The ruby tailed wasp really is something, so colorful and I wonder why? Nice to see your bug hotel being put to use, I never know if the little creatures actually use them or if it was just a trendy feel good type of project!

  5. Brilliant images, I’ve never a Ruby Tailed wasp. The leaf cutters have been busy in my garden but I don’t really mind as the damage is only temporary. We also have wasps that take spiders to put in their nests, they make nests with mud.

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