Wasps, Ants and their relatives
This group contains the solitary as well as the well-known and well-despised social wasps.
The less familiar solitary wasps which often build cells in the earth, in hollow plant stems or old beetle borings, to lay their eggs. They fill these cells up with the larva's preferred prey. They actively hunt for the prey and sting them with venom. This will paralyse, but not kill, the victim and keep it fresh for their larvae.
The 'Potter wasps' (Eumenes sp.) as the name suggests, build several spherical clay pots side-by-side and attach them to a wall or a branch, in which she provisions and lays her egg.
Odynerus, a "Mason wasp" builds a clay chimney when excavating her nest which she later wholly or partially destroys, using the clay particles to seal the entrance of the burrow. This chimney is thought to either deter potential kleptoparasites and parasitoids or to prevent rain entering into the burrows, which are situated in rather exposed sites.
Other members of the Vespoidea superfamily
- Social Wasps (Family: Vespidae)
- Ants (Family: Formicidae)
- Spider-hunting Wasps (Family: Pompiloidea)
A to Z of insects
- Biting lice
- Leaf insects
- Praying Mantids
- Stick insects
- Sucking lice
- Three-pronged bristletails
- True Bugs
- Non-insect hexapods
- Two-pronged bristletails