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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Porch Nesters Reach Pupal Stage

The polistes apachus paper wasps on my front porch have successfully pupated some larvae . . . is this anything like having your kids graduate from high school? The cells of the pupae are capped with papery pulp. Each cap is not at the same position on the cell, seeming to indicate the pupae are various lengths. These pupae will emerge as sterile female adults, whose primary function is to care for the growing numbers of larvae.

Meanwhile the larvae that remain unpupated are waiting to be fed more caterpillar bits.


Christine said...

So the pupae are the dark spots in the middle of the cells? If so, what is the white substance surrounding them?

vanessa cardui said...

The wasp pupae are under the white papery kind of domed caps over the four central cells, so we can't see them. In the cells that are still uncapped, the dark spots are the cute little faces of the wasp larvae, surrounded by their fat white bodies. No wonder the tending females are so devoted to the young ones' care!