Paper Wasp Nest (Polistes exclamans) Florida

Thought I’d post a cool photo while I work on some art projects. I love these wasps and photograph them with great respect as they are very protective of their nests, and will sting.   You will notice that some of the cells in this nest are capped closed. The larvae spin silk over the opening of their cell prior to entering the pupal stage.  Each day I watch as more and more cells are enclosed.

Paper Wasp Nest small

 

 

Digger Wasp

Chlorion lobatum

This is a type of Digger wasp.  Digger wasp females typically capture their prey – in her case crickets – and paralyzes it. She then buries the prey in the prepared nest but not before laying a single egg on it.  The emerging larva will feed on the live paralyzed prey, eventually killing it. Latin name, Chlorion lobatum is a very brightly colored metallic green with antennae that curl at the ends.

Painted in watercolor on Bristol paper

Zombie Ant Fungus

Art 5-26-15 (19)

There is a bizarre fungus that turns carpenter ants into zombies and gets them to die in a place that’s perfect for the fungus to grow and reproduce.  These sketchbook drawings are of several ants who fell victim to this very specialized fungus.

Markers in Canson Earthbound toned sketchbook.

For more info on this fungus, it’s lifecycle and the effects it has on ants:  http://www.livescience.com/5631-zombie-ants-controlled-fungus.html

Adam Ant and My Naked-Eye

Common Ant

Common Ant

Recently found this little guy crawling around on my sketchbook while I was sketching  Well, this is my interpretation of him as he was too fast and because he was very small and my naked-eye is not quite as sharp as it used to be.  Adam Ant here was sketched with a Micron pen and colored with Koi watercolors.