National Geographic : 1937 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE rnotograpn Dy raul nirlswol ntowes RARELY DOES THE CAMERA CATCH A PAPER WASP QUEEN IN THE ACT OF LAYING AN EGG Light has been reflected deep into the cell, making visible the oval egg, which is cemented into place in the unfinished paper cell. (Photograph greatly en larged.) Later a grub will hatch and grow (opposite page and p. 69). There are many different kinds and styles of these. The one shown in Plate II was found by Mr. David I. Bushnell, Jr., in 1935, near Fredericksburg, Virginia. It is larger than those usually seen. In order to find out the kind of wasp that made it, I kept it through the winter in my house. In March the wasps emerged, digging their way out through the mud walls. First came four males, and about ten days later appeared the first females, larger than their brothers. What were they? I showed them to Miss Grace Sandhouse, one of the leading au- thorities on bees and wasps. She was puzzled. They were not like any she had ever seen, and no published de scriptions fitted them. They proved to be a previously un known kind. Dr. Joseph Bequaert of Harvard has recently named them Odynerus tempiferus var. macio. They are here figured for the first time (Color Plate II, lower). After all the wasps had dug their way out, the nest was cut in two across the middle. It was made up of 21 cells, each of which had been carefully formed by the mother wasp, provisioned with paralyzed caterpillars, fur nished with an egg and sealed. After the twenty one were com pleted the mass had been care fully smoothed over with addi- tional mud and a few large, shining quartz grains had been cemented to it, apparently by way of ornament. HORNETS LIVE ON INSECT STEAKS Bushnell's wasp, the jug-makers, the mud daubers, and the digger wasps are representatives of what are known as soli tary wasps; each female, alone and unas sisted, provides for her young. But many wasps are social, living in com munities of various sizes, usually with a single egg-producing female and several or many "workers," or undeveloped females.