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Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 5:37 AM

Perhaps a bit OT for an engineering forum, but an interesting observation - I wonder whether anyone else has spotted similar?

While having a smoke break at work, I often watch various small critters going about their natural business outside. The wasps are particularly fascinating - they fly along the wooden fence, usually either looking for good places to chew up some wood to make pulp for nest-building, or hunting prey. The blackberries growing above the fence are just beginning to ripen, so soon they'll be munching those. The hunters fly along, diving down on any little marks they spot to check them for yumminess.

They often catch small spiders, and sometimes a battle ensues with one a bit larger and more able to defend itself.

Just now I saw one steal a trapped fly from a cobweb. It had a bit of a struggle to pull it free from the web, then landed with it nearby to clean off the wrapping of web in which it was trussed. It then flew off with it.

A nice little distraction from staring at a PC screen!

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#1

Re: Opportunist wasp

09/01/2016 6:01 AM

Careful! check that big moma wasp isn't watching you watching them
I like watching 'em getting drunk on fermenting apples. Saw a drunk hornet once... woo he was an aggressive drunk.
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#5
In reply to #1

Re: Opportunist wasp

09/01/2016 10:52 AM

I understand smoke has a calming effect on bees. So if he is taking a smoke break, maybe he'll be OK.

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#2

Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 7:22 AM

For some context, here's a bit of the hunting ground:

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#3

Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 7:26 AM

...and here's a snap of a wasp collecting nest-building materials:

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#4
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 10:51 AM

Nom nom nom

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#9
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 11:24 AM

Look for one of these....

But don't get too close...haha

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#10
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 11:40 AM

That looks like what we call a Yellow Jacket. They can be very aggressive.

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#11
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 12:14 PM
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#12
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 1:09 PM

I wrote a blog on CR4 about the Japanese Hornet, Check it out, it was an interesting read.

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#14
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 1:59 PM

Please do provide us a link?

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#15
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 2:19 PM

Here you go http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/23444

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#6

Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 10:53 AM

Wait until the Japanese Hornet takes over Indiana, that will be a really big problem. This hornet was imported (by a complete dumbaz), since they can kill about anything big enough to die, including you and me.

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#7
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 10:56 AM

As long as they stay in Indiana, I don't mind too much.

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#8
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 11:20 AM

Indiana not far enough away from Texas on this aspect to suit me. Otherwise, I love Indiana.

You English already have your fair share of W.A.S.P.'s LOL

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#13
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 1:10 PM

I agree, total idiot, they are super nasty

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#16

Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 5:20 PM

On a related note to opportunistic animals when I am cutting and baling hay the local birds take full advantage of the situation!

While cutting the local Swallows and other such bugeaters follow me in flocks picking of the easy meal of bugs being tossed up by the machinery. Next to them are the Hawks and occasionally even a daytime owl will be there as well picking off field mice, moles, gophers and snakes.

And by full advantage I have seen Hawks stuff themselves so full they will eventually reach a point where they will only flutter or run a few tens of feet away at most and give me wary looks rather than retreat to the nearest hay bale or tree when I make a pass near them with the tractor.

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#17
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 7:33 PM

This is a pretty universal phenomenon - from a robin looking for worms while the gardener digs his veg plot to the flocks of seagulls descending on a field after the plough.

I was more intrigued by the critter on critter scenario, rather than critters (from insects though rodents, assorted other mammals etc to birds ... you get the idea) profiting from human actions.

Ok, hyenas and such could be covered here, but I don't see such activity in the carpark at work.

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#18
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 10:17 PM

"k, hyenas and such could be covered here, but I don't see such activity in the carpark at work."

They tend to mostly hang out by the playgrounds and old folks homes.

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#23
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/05/2016 9:02 AM

They wouldn't dare be caught near an old folks home in TX. Too many senile old bastards with shotguns.

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#19
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 11:01 PM

Reminds me of an incident at the single runway air park where I used to work. A few years ago the farmer who owns the corn field on the southeast end of the runway harvested his corn, then fertilized the 4 or 5 acres for next year crop. Somewhere he got a hold of several tons of excess chicken parts (we have several large chicken processors in the area). He tilled the full acreage with those chicken parts.

It couldn't have been more than a couple hours after that the word apparently spread in the bird community and probably 500 to 1000 buzzards showed up to feast.

Every time one of our airplanes approached to land at that end all those buzzards took to the air and it was way too dangerous to even think about departing in that direction. We had to suspend flight ops and close the airport for several days until the buzzards had their fill.

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#20

Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/01/2016 11:05 PM

"They often catch small spiders, and sometimes a battle ensues with one a bit larger and more able to defend itself."

The wasps are generally not collecting these spiders for their own food. Mum stings the spider with a paralysing venom and then deposits the still alive spider inside the nest with her eggs. When the Pupae hatch they then have fresh meat on which to dine.

Break open a wasp's mud nest and you will find quite a number of these paralysed spiders inside just waiting to become a meal.

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#21

Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/02/2016 8:58 AM

The ultimate animal kingdom opportunists. This is a late fall scene picture taken through our sliding doors to the kitchen. In summer there is a screen attached only at the top so we can leave these doors open about 6 inches for our cats to run in and out. In they come when these little devils appear. One evening while watching TV I heard a sound from the area of this door that did not seem to be a sound made by cats. I went out to the kitchen just in time to see one of these bandits running out the door with a nearly full bag of cat food. I would like to think they had a fine source of food for several days, but after watching them for many years, I know they finished the bag in one evening.

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#22
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/02/2016 5:12 PM

I knock off anywhere from 1 - 3 of them every year while they are stealing the kitty food.

The kitties are so used to them now, and being shot at, that when I drilled the last one in the head two of the cats didn't even move off the deck. They just went up on the chairs and watched until all the flipping and flopping stopped then went back to reclaim their food dish with the dead racoon less than two feet away.

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#24
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/05/2016 9:15 AM

If you shoot the raccoon in the "heaven's gate" it will not flip and flop, but only drop. I saw this on a detective show, "Homicide Hunter, Joe Kenda", I think.

That is why police, when dealing with a hostage situation, they have an action word where the first policeman tries to duck to one side, whilst the second policeman drills the perp right in the kisser. This will 98% of the time send the bullet through the "heaven's gate" of the medulla oblongata. Lights out, no trigger pull reflex.

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#25

Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 11:13 AM

Anyone watching Brain Dead?

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#26
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 11:22 AM

Anyone brain dead watching, "Brain Dead"?

Can't writers think up something interesting? Old script westerns with Gene Autrie were better written, IMHO. The "stuff" that gets put on the air these days is nothing more than lightly scented (not enough to hide the stench) hog swill for the masses to engorge themselves with.

Remember to bring the chips, beer, and onion dip. I refuse to watch anything of the sort, since these are totally imaginary and not that creative. Frankenstein, Werewolf, Dracula, those shows all had drama, acting, class, and suspense, even humor. I see nothing funny about selecting a "group" to dehumanize, then slaughter willy-nilly, but OH SNAP, they are already dead. OK, then it is mass desecration of corpi.

How about more real shows about finding the real monsters within our society and eliminating them from our presence? Someone who has murdered multiple times, has raped, and is not a citizen, is a good candidate for a bill board on the southern border (as perforated wall art).

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#27
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 11:37 AM

The wife and I host bad movie nights, with chips, beer, cider, etc.

We rate movies on the cider scale, indicated by how many ciders are required as anesthetic to get through the movie.

For the Sharknado and Sharktopus franchise features, we pull out the stops, grill salmon, have salmon dip with goldfish crackers and munch Swedish fish and gummi sharks washed down with Hefferweisen and Angry Orchard.

It makes for a good evening of fun, fluff and conversation.

Attack of the Wasp Woman is a three cider movie.

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#29
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 11:47 AM

Sounds like a three Roll-Aid evening to me. Angry Orchard gives me heartburn.

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#32
In reply to #29

Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 2:42 PM

Well, then administer your anesthetic of choice.

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#28
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 11:45 AM

Don't think you've watched "Brain Dead" have you? Not zombies as you seem to be describing. Aliens taking over the brains of politicians and actually creating an excuse for the poor behavior of our politicians. This is as much political satire as science fiction.

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#30
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 11:48 AM

It sounds a bit more like the Invasion of the Body Snatchers now, maybe worth watching. I still prefer something like Hell on Wheels. If you can't get along with, then just shoot them, and get the sumitch over with.

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#31
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 2:17 PM

If you are going to try to watch this, you need caught up.

Aliens look like ants and live in the cherry blossoms. They enter through an ear. You can tell an infected person if they are deaf in 1 ear and a second check is they can't drink alcohol. CTI scans are very bad - head explodes. Infected people become more extreme in their political stance and cannot be reasoned with. (sounds like a normal politician - doesn't it?) The top Republican is infected and is trying to start a war with Syria. Infected people prefer one song - The Cars "You Might Think I'm Crazy" (bet Rik Ocasec and his band are not happy with this) Only a few people have figured that this is an alien invasion.

That should get you started.

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#35
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 4:29 PM

I think I already don't like this show, and take exception to their political stance as more bullshine. I say pour some Texas moonshine on all of them, and watch them melt.

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#33
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 3:48 PM

Yep. Lately I've wanted to play "You Might Think" by the Cars. Why do you suppose that is?

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 3:52 PM

Earworm I suppose.

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#36
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Re: Opportunist Wasp

09/06/2016 4:31 PM

Is your right ear still working. My left ear took a bad hit in a laboratory explosion back in 1975, but I can still hear what I need to with it. It helps because I typically sit to the right of my wife, across the room, with TV blaring in the middle.

There was a spot on the science channel a while back about the alien invasion from space - DNA like particles called plutons arrive and come down with rain. These enter the body as tiny particles suspended in air, and easily enter the bloodstream, and can alter cell DNA, but don't panic, it has only been taking place for millions of years now.

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