Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Come into my parlour ...

One of my three cats drew my attention to this first, watching warily from a rock. Every time she went in close for a sniff, the wasp released its prey, and flew straight at her. Quick. smart. retreat.

The wasp is a Spider Wasp
"The female catches spiders of various kinds as food for her larvae. She stings the spider to paralyse it and then usually drags it into her burrow where she lays an egg on it. When the larva hatches, it starts to eat the still living spider."

The spider is a Huntsman, that is paralysed, not dead. The wasp dragged the spider approx. 20m. Up and down a wall, along a culvert, across a rock garden, down the rock face (abt 1.5m). At this point, she lost track of which crack in the rockery was her nest (duh!), had to rest the spider on the path, and dash up nd down looking for her entrance. Then, she had to drag the spider half-way back up the wall. This was the hardest stage, often momentarily losing her footing.
Of course, I forgot to mention that the wasp had to take numerous times-out to warn off both Sellie (the cat) and yours truly. All this happened at a jig-a-jog, and I suffer from ataxia, meaning I was constantly stumbling and lurching. By the end, I was knackered!

8 comments:

Stefan Jansson said...

Nice post Julie. Good info and photos from your garden!

belohorizontedailyphoto said...

Quite an adventure and good photos

Jim said...

Fascinating. Had no idea about the Spider Wasp and don't think I've ever seen one down my way. Plenty of Hunstmans though.

Jo said...

Amazing footage and information, Julie. Thanks for sharing. Jo

William Kendall said...

They really look so alien, don't they?

Joe said...

It reads and looks like a horror story Julie.

diane b said...

Wow that's a great series of hard fought for photos. I have never seen or heard of this wasp. Good on them for keeping the spider population down.

Joan Elizabeth said...

What a great nature post. Your attention to detail astounds.