Threaten Sign    


Work for the Young 


Those female Potter Wasps like to build their pots on the table outside our backyard, where is an open area but under cover, protected from wind and rain. Every year early summer there will be some pots built there.
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The wasp found some damp mud near by. She collected the mud, formed a small mud ball about 2mm diameter, then brought it back to the pot site. Each trip she brought back a little mud each time. Each trip took her about five minutes. It took her half a day to build a pot.
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She used her mouth and front pair of legs to carry the mud. She laid the mud mainly by her mouth, then checked with her antennae. The pot was dome-shaped, about 15mm in diameter. At the top about 45 degree, she made a bottleneck-shaped entrance. The pot was about finished. The last procedure was she laid a white substance covered the inter wall of the pot. This might help to strengthen the wall.
After the pot was ready, the wasp started to find caterpillars and put inside the pot. She might find three to four caterpillars for each pot. Then she laid an egg in the pot. Finally, she remove the bottle neck and closed the entrance. This pot was done. The wasp found another site and built another pot.

Near one of the Rattle Ant colonies, we found two Rattle Ants. One ant was holding a larvae, the other pulling out some silks from the larvae. There was some silks attaching one leaf from anther leaf. We understood that those ants were just start to build a new room for their colony.
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One thing about this ant is worth mentioning. We collected the ant in a jar and brought back home for observation. The ant first ran around the jar anxiously, and seemed try to find a way out. After half a day, it stopped running and seemed understand that there was no way out. We supplied the ant with some honey and it fed on it occasionally. One day we supply the ant with a dead grasshopper body. It held the grasshopper body and ran madly again. It seemed it forgot that there was no way out and this time, although with the heavy load,  it ran around for a much longer time before it stopped. We know one of the missions of a foraging ant is to find the protein food for their young. We can feel how deep is this mission is in-printed in the ant's brain.  

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Last updated: November 06, 2006.