City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

September 20, 2016

August 20th

Filed under: Cricket, Insects, Praying Mantis, Reptiles, Snake, wasps — canopus56 @ 11:15 pm

Carnivorous Wasps

6 p.m. It is Saturday, the canyon has grown cooler in the evening, and as a consequence there are more car picnickers this evening. The cars take toll on wildlife. Today you too small, there is a crushed praying mantis and two or three crushed snakes. The praying mantis and one of the snakes are covered in wasps. When I jog past these corpses on the way out the canyon, the edges on both are covered half-seashell cutouts. Later I check my insect guides. Wasps are omnivorous. The wings of a praying mantis will be used in the construction of their nests. The adults cannot digest the protein of the snake, but they feed it to their pupae. Last week, a wasp was struggling with a flying beetle on the roadway. They’re so small that was difficult to see what was occurring. The wasp flys off. The beetle has been dead for some time. The wasp was feeding by sucking out the contents of the beetle’s abdomen. There was no fight. The wasp was having difficulty in finding a leg hold on the broad wings of the beetle, and as a result the pair was constantly rolling around. Pollen and mantis into wasps homes. Snakes in to baby wasps. Wasps into birds. Birds in trees. The cycle continues.

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