[NetBehaviour] Eastern Thread-Waisted Sand Wasp Scurry Video

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sun Oct 4 18:34:26 CEST 2020

Eastern Thread-Waisted Sand Wasp Scurry Video

https://youtu.be/6h2sEQc48Gk video

We were in Middletown, Rhode Island, getting our car inspected
which resulted in two things - new tires, and some interesting
video/stills I was able to shoot around the edges of a corn-
field. Oh, and also two odd music pieces for later on - one on
a dan moi, and the other on the c natural minor harmonica. The
wasp was at plus or minus six feet; the camera magnifies up to
30x. There's no image stabilization, and the wasp was moving
at furious speed and dexterity for its size. It was really
breath-taking. There were other odd insects as well, maybe
more on that later, maybe not; I'm still thinking of corn-field
music as a new genre. But the wasp! Fantastic! (My one and only
trip in six months over thirty miles out, but worth it.)

Thanks to Ryan Whyte for the identification!

Cull as such: "I looked at the tiny wasp through an antique
microscope. The wasp was our pet. The wasp is thread-wasted and
quite small. chubby youngsters. Thinking wasp fairies. coming
feeding loud Rob fairies, among makers; chubby youngsters.
Thinking wasp fairies. lighting Oscar Howe Chandler Cosden wasp
most powerful sting it's extremely hard, not from a wasp or bee
(no hint of a what passes for lives, houses, automobiles,
delivery trucks, wasp fairies, among makers; chubby youngsters.
Thinking wasp fairies."

0:00 / 1:32
Eastern Thread-Waisted Sand Wasp Scurry Video
Oct 3, 2020
155 subscribers

Ryan Whyte made some comments that are important here:
Alan: ""Tool-use" by a digger wasp was first described by Williston
(1892) and Peckham and Peckham (1898). They observed this
remarkable behavior in two species of ground-nesting wasps,
Ammophila urnaria and Ammophila aberti. The female digs a burrow
in the ground, provisions it with paralyzed caterpillars, lays an
egg on top of the food cache and then fills the burrow with soil or
stones. While closing the nest, the wasp picks up a pebble in her
mandibles and pounds the substrate with it, thereby compacting and
settling the soil that was used to fill the nest. The Peckhams said that
in this behavior, the wasp had "...improvised a tool and made
intelligent use of it." The behavior received much publicity (see
Frisch, 1940; Lamburn, 1955; Evans, 1959) and several authors saw
tool using as evidence that wasps have highly plastic, intellectual
powers (Rau and Rau, 1918; McDougall, 1923; Bouvier, 1922).
Others have interpreted the behavior differently. Rather than thinking
of tool using as insightful, they described the behavior as a
species-typical, instinctive act (Holmes, 1911; Frisch, 1940; Baerends,
1941; Evans, 1959) or possibly an example of trial-and-error
learning (Thorpe, 1956). Although some have questioned whether
the behavior should be considered true tool use (Frisch, 1940;
Evans, 1959), the action clearly falls under the current definition
(Alcock, 1972; Wilson, 1975). When Ammophila uses a pebble as a
hammer, she is manipulating an object, not internally manufactured,
with the effect of improving her efficiency in altering the
position, form or condition of some other object in the environment
(Beck, 1980; Alcock, 1972)."
H. Jane Brockmann, "Tool Use in Digger Wasps (Hymenoptera: Sphecinae,"
Psyche A Journal of Entomology 92 (2-3) (January 1985), 309.
The article goes on to discuss the various stages of nest construction
including disguising the entrance.

*/To me this is incredibly exciting: to witness all of this directly,
to be able to interpret the wasp's movements!/*

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