Pemphredon? wasp reinforcing resin nest-seal with wood fragments

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Ed Phillips
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Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 13/05/2012 - 08:41
Pemphredon? wasp reinforcing resin nest-seal with wood fragments

I have lots of wasp activity at my garden "bee-hotel" at the moment. I managed a sequence of photographs of an apparent Pemphredon wasp provisioning with aphids, sealing the nest-hole with resin and then reinforcing it with wood fragments gathered for adjacent holes. Here's a link to the photograph and description on my Flickr account:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/50342657@N05/14443237839/

Has anyone else observed this? I can't find accounts of this happening with Pemphredon spp. Other holes have Passaloecus wasps returning with aphids. Their holes are sealing with resin, but with no additional reinforcement.

Ed ...

Nigel Jones
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Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 11/11/2011 - 20:07
Nest seal

Interesting observation. I can't say this is something I have ever noted. This would be worth writing up for the BWARS newsletter, particualrly if you can get an ID on the wasp.

Ian Cross
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Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 13/05/2012 - 19:48
Pemphredon? wasp reinforcing nest

Aphid prey and use of resin to seal the nest seem like typical Passaloecus behaviour though I must admit I've not heard of them reinforcing it with wood fragments. In the photos I can just make out white pronotal tubercles which is a feature of Passaloecus but not, as far as I know, Pemphredon. If I had to stick my neck out I would hazard that the mandibles seem to be black, a combination which suggests corniger. Moreover, that species often steals aphids from other Passaloecus so might be unusual in other aspects of behaviour - you may be on to something here.

Ian

PS: Great images, what set up do you use?

Ed Phillips
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Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 13/05/2012 - 08:41
Camera Equipment

Thanks for your comment Ian. I used a Canon 5D3 plus MPE-65mm macro lens and MT-24EX TwinLite flash. This is my usual setup for invertebrate macro photography. The wasp images were with the lens at between x2 and x3 magnification.

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