Bug-a-log = 10. Stingers and Chafers

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In my second month of Bug-a-log now and still making a few adjustments to the format. Where in the yard heading has turned into When and Where in the yard. I thought it was important to say what season and whether it was night or day I observed each creature.

If you want to see a summary of how the logged bugs fit into insect/spider orders take a look at the Bug-a-log index. I have tried not to weigh down my individual logged entries with too much of the classification hierarchy.

This month I have logged a batch of paper wasps. Paper wasps strike fear into the hearts of many but, for the most part (or at least the species in my yard), they are fairly benign. In fact most of us probably live with them without even noticing. They get their bad rap from their ability to painfully sting multiple times (unlike single-sting bees) and their reputation of aggressively protecting their nests. I haven’t really found the latter to be the case but I do sometimes remove nests depending on the species and the position of the nest. Read more about my approach and about these fascinating builders under my Bug-a-log entries:

WASPS:

Asian Paper Wasp

Common or Native Paper Wasp

Small Brown Southern Wasp

BEETLES:

Say Awww. Because the next two entries under the Beetle post are super cute.

Brown Flower Beetle

Spotted Flower Chafer

My favourite log entry this month is the pretty, Spotted Flower Chafer. Even the name is delightful. Both the flower beetles are good photography subjects as they take their sweet time savouring each of their nectar meals before moving to the next flower. Chafer is a name applied to many of the scarab beetles and some are considered pests due to larval destruction of plant roots and crop-eating adults. However the two native flower beetles in my yard are considered fairly harmless. Their larvae generally feed on rotting plant matter rather than roots and adults play a beneficial role in pollination.

I came to the scary realisation this month that my task of bug-a-logging will never be finished as already I’ve thought it necessary to update my first month’s entry on the Hatchet Wasp with more accurate info and a better photo I took just last week.

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