Wasp Nest Squatter

I was forced to destroy the wasp nest that had been growing on our garage door frame, as it was becoming a danger to us when we entered or left the garage. The morning after my dastardly night foray, I took a look at the remnants of the nest. While spraying had damaged the outer covering, the internal combs were undamaged, so I gently scraped it away from the frame and took it inside for a closer look. Surprisingly, while all the adults were killed, many of the young larvae, in a variety of stages, survived. And not just the larvae. When I pulled away the remnants of the paper maché shell, a movement caught my eye, and I was surprised to find a small pseudoscorpion scurrying about the inner surface.

pseudoscorpion

Besides having rather effective-looking claws, each of which contain a venom gland in the moveable ‘finger’, …

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..they have a formidable set of mouthparts, which also have silk glands for making cocoons for when they need protection when molting or during the cold season.

Glad this pseudoscorpion is only 2mm long.

Venomous claws and barbed, piercing mouthparts make this a formidable predator…


…thankfully, with a body length of only 2 mm, we have nothing to fear from this tiny arachnid.

How did it get into the nest? Most likely it was an opportunist, latching on a foraging wasp with a claw and getting a free ride (known as ‘phoresy) to the nest.

For more on these tiny terrors, head to Expiscor and read Ten facts about Pseudoscorpions.

(27 July, 2014. Canon 5D Mk II with Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo Lens and diffused Canon MT-24EX Twin Lite Flash. Top photo, ISO 200, 1/125 sec. @ f11, two middle white background photos @f9 and last photo with mm scale: f13.)

This entry was posted in Accessories, Alberta, Arachnid, arthropods, Bugs, Camera, Canada, Edmonton, Equipment, Flash, Hymenoptera, macro, MP-E65, Phoresy, photography, Season, Summer, Vespidae, White Studio and tagged , , , .

2 Comments

  1. Gary Anweiler 31 July, 2014 at 8:54 AM #

    Very nice! In particular the first image!!

  2. Anonymous 31 July, 2014 at 6:01 PM #

    A fierce uninvited guest!