Animals Weird

Spider Wasp Uses Wall Of Dead Ants To Protect Its Nest

Spider Wasp Uses Wall Of Dead Ants To Protect Its Nest

Does the animal planet make the favorite channel of your list? Are you interested in all the programs portraying the plethora of animal species on television? Do you like to read about the animal species, their habitats and their livelihood? Well, then this pertinent information about a new species of the spider wasp will definitely be of interest to you!

Which is the ant species?

The ant species is Deuteragenia ossarium. It is a species of spider wasp.

Why is it so called?

Deuteragenia ossarium implies “bone house wasp”. Hence, the name has been coined.

Spider Wasp Uses Wall Of Dead Ants To Protect Its Nest  The Bone-house wasp and its nest-protection system Photo: Staab at el/University of Freiburg

The species

This species has managed to startle the researchers with its habitat and defence mechanism for the larvae:

  • It was found hiding skeletons in its closet. Yeah! Skeletons.
  • The cavity-nesting spider wasps are animals, which reside in holes or shallow tunnels, fabricated under the plant and debris of wood.
  • Their houses are such that there are different chambers for individual larvae, which are enclosed by an outermost apartment.
  • When it is completed, the female wasps leave their abodes, and allow the young ones to originate on their own.

What has been so astonishing about the species?

The team of researchers, which included Michael Staab, University of Freiburg, Germany, studied the female wasps’ method of protecting their young. They found something astonishing:

  • The team on dissection of the wasp homes came across antechambers filled with corpses of ants.
  • The scientists put forward the theory, that the acumen behind the same can be a defence tactic.
  • They concluded that the wasps are utilizing the ant cadaver as defence from the probable predators.
Spider Wasp Uses Wall Of Dead Ants To Protect Its Nest  A living female of Deuteragenia ossarium on the forest floor Photo: Michael Staab

But why do the wasp species use ant corpses?

The wasp species utilize ant corpses because:

  • Ants discharge strong pheromones which act as a communication mechanism.
  • It is the smell which stays even after some period of time post their death.
  • This smell acts as a perfect defence mechanism for animals which are planning to eat the nesting larvae.
  • Indeed, this act aids in protecting the little ones as they are still being hatched independently.
  • Obviously this is one amazing method of protecting her little ones, from the predators, a method which could only be devised and pursued by a mother- ant or a human!

What else does the analysis result?

A very simple aspect which has resulted from the analysis is that, the female wasps need the dead bodies of ant. And, for this purpose the requirement is to actively search for live ants. This should then be followed by killing them too. Yet again, the theory has been confirmed. This is because there is 13% lower parasitism rate in the bone-house nest, when the researchers compared it to the nest of a similar species.

So, next time if you are to see a wasp taking the body of an ant, you know the acumen behind it.

 

Spider Wasp Uses Wall Of Dead Ants To Protect Its Nest
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