Emergence

wasp“Paging Dr. Kinsey, paging Dr. Kinsey! Gall wasp emergence on Henry Street…”

Before he went into human sexuality in a big way, pride-of-Hoboken Alfred Kinsey was a specialist in gall wasps, a vast and largely unknown kingdom, at least to us non-specialists.

Back in early February, I posted about two species of gall wasps on an oak in Green-Wood. I bought a couple of the galls home to photograph. One of these had no exit holes, so I popped it into a little plastic box with a magnifying lens built into it. Yesterday, I noticed something moving in it. From the corner of my eye, I thought ant, and thought it must be outside the box. But it was this 5mm gall wasp inside, crawling about. (Ants and wasps are of course in the same order, Hymenoptera, so the morphological similarity makes sense.)

I placed the box into the freezer for about a minute to get this wasp to play dead momentarily for the camera.

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3 Responses to “Emergence”


  1. 1 Elizabeth April 5, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Will it be able to survive outside in this cold spring? Do you know what triggered the emergence – length of day, warmth inside, just the length of time?

    • 2 mthew April 5, 2013 at 9:43 am

      All excellent questions. I suspect the warmth of my apartment had something to do with it. This is a bit of a bat cave, so the influence of light was probably minimal (curtains drawn for most of the week since I was out of town). And how something this small would keep warm at night? Of course, the mysteries of the world are deep.

  2. 3 Elizabeth April 5, 2013 at 10:45 am

    My brother’s home in northwest Connecticut was full of Asian lady beetles this weekend (not that that is a rare occurrence). My brother and sister-in-law are in constant war against them – at least partly because if one is inadvertently crushed, it leaves a stain. But among the beetles, there was one lone wasp – what I’d call a paper wasp. It too disappeared down the snake-like throat of the vacuum cleaner.


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