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The crazy world of insects. Today I saw...

Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 285
...a Hummingbird hawk-moth being attacked by a wasp. I didn't recognise it as a Hummingbird hawk-moth at the time*, as I've only ever seen them in flight before, I just knew that a beautiful moth was on the footpath and was being attacked by a wasp. The wasp looked like it was trying to eat the moth**. Needless to say I shooed the wasp away, ran away as the wasp started coming after me, then went back and moved the moth to a safer place off the main footpath. The wasp thankfully didn't seem to return.



*I'm happy to be told I'm wrong if someone else identifies it from the photo.

**It sounds crazy, but the wasps seem to be extra crazy this year, as I've seen them on several occasions tucking in to my cabbage white caterpillars in the past couple of weeks... It barely surprised me that they thought they'd try their luck at a giant moth.

Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,407
    It’s what wasps eat ... aphids and caterpillars etc and carrion too ... that’s why they’re the gardener’s friend 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 285
    It’s what wasps eat ... aphids and caterpillars etc and carrion too ... that’s why they’re the gardener’s friend 😊 

    I'd heard tell of wasps eating other insects, but have never seen it before, so thought it was folklore. I stand very corrected!! :smile:

    It has been fascinating leaving the cabbage white caterpillars to do their own thing this year (had an abundance of nasturtiums for them to munch through). As well as the wasps eating them, have also seen the results of the parasitic wasps that use them as home. Not pleasant, but fascinating.

    Hopefully managed to save the moth today, though. I felt bad for it.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,407
    edited October 2020
    The hummingbird hawk moths are rarely able to survive the UK winters unless it’s extremely mild, so it is likely to expire shortly and provide lunch for someone. 

    Hopefully more will arrive in the UK from the south of France next summer 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,804
    I have a wasps nest under the grass path on my allotment and we have co existed for about 2 months in good harmony.

    12 days ago one landed on my sock ( I always wear shorts ) and decided to bite me.

    7 days ago another flew into my face and bit me on the bridge of my nose and my vision was a bit squiffy for about 10 minutes.

    I left the plot and outside the gates was a nurse going home so he advised me.

    Synchronicity

    They are very aggressive this last 2 weeks and I have taken to working at the other end of the plot.

    I will wait until they vacate their nest at the end of the year and then block it up.

    By the end of summer, August to September, the queen wasp will fly away with males to create new queen wasps. Once the queen leaves the hive, the drones become more aggressive and will stray farther from the nest.

    Thats what I have found lately .....but

    Live and Let Live.
    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,258
    They enjoy eating squished snails. Fascinating to watch  :)
    Been thin on the ground this year. Bit too cold and wet for them, and the bees.

    Envious of the hawkmoths. We don't get them here, although I think some pockets of the drier, eastern/southern parts do.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 3,319
    A few weeks back I saw a wasp carve the wings off a live butterfly and take the body away with it. I can't remember if it was a comma or a small tort...not that it matters, wasps have to eat too🙂
  • Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 285
    A few weeks back I saw a wasp carve the wings off a live butterfly and take the body away with it. I can't remember if it was a comma or a small tort...not that it matters, wasps have to eat too🙂

    Woah! :#

    Fairygirl said:
    They enjoy eating squished snails. Fascinating to watch  :)

    They are more than welcome to my squished snails, but sadly here they tend to get squished at night when it's dark and wet and you just hear that "crunch" underfoot when you can't see where you're going. By morning, I imagine the juicy bits would have been dried out too much to be a tasty snack. I shall keep an eye out though!


     I thankfully haven't been bitten or stung by wasps for many a year, since childhood, but still give them a respectful, wary distance. In the gardens where I volunteer, they've already abandoned their nests, so I had a good chance to poke around in one recently. The construction is amazing - again, absolutely fascinating, like an apartment complex. I guess they're like recently evicted teenagers at the moment, cruising around looking for trouble, no one to tell them no!


  • Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 285
    This is that wasps' nest I got to poke around in...


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    I watched a small wasp cutting-out a 'ready-wrapped meal' from a spider's web, while constantly getting entangled and having to free itself.  As it had just about managed it, another identical wasp attacked it and stole the bounty!  Fascinating (and yes, I have big ears too!) :D
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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