aussietrev wasp foodchain pic
Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 7:08 PM
Walking along and this wasp came buzzing out from a small shrub and landed on a grass stem to finish off this caterpillar, which I think is one of the Geometridae. Taken in the Capricornia region of Queensland.
We believe this is one of the social Paper Wasps, possibly Polistes tepidus, and we also believe it has captured the caterpillar to feed to larval wasps back at the nest. The Brisbane Insect Page has photo documentation of a Polistes Paper Wasp skinning and “packaging” a large caterpillar into manageable portions for travel. It states: “The wasp cut a large piece from the caterpillar and carefully pack it into ball shape for easy carrying. Then she started to fly back home to feed their larvae. We noticed that the wasp circle around over the caterpillar body a few time before she disappear. We believed she did that to recognize the location so that she could come back after deliver the meal.” Perhaps one of our readers can substantiate this.