graham5's picture

Aberrant wasp behaviour ?

I'm quite used to wasps and like others, I suspect, haven't seen too many around this year until a few weeks ago when they "arrived" in serious number. However they don't bother me, indeed there was a nest nearby a couple of years ago and they seemed to go about their business quite merrily, keeping themselves to themselves, by and large.
But for a week or two there appears to be one wasp that seems far more general in its interests. It investigates everything, and while I appreciate they are insectivores, I cannot recall every noticing one having a good look at the cat food before. And just now it was loitering around my bowl of cereal (admittedly with some fruit) before alighting on the table at wandering around a bit. It also appears to be interested in me, flying around my face often (I should point out that I do not tend to smear my face with fruit pulp in general and certainly not recently) and while it is a little disconcerting the draft from its wings is quite refreshing - albeit only for a brief while.
The others seems completely normal and keep away from me, concentrating on more normal behaviour.
Of course I have strongly suggested that it is one individual - well it is only one that shows this behaviour at any one time but to be honest they do all look alike to me. I know, and I do apologise to any wasps reading this, that this is could be taken as a speciesist comment, but that is the case I'm afraid.

Two points come to mind: just how generalist is the average wasp? And how long do the workers normally live ?




DavidHowdon's picture


Wasps do eat meat so looking at cat food is perhaps not too surprising. Could the behaviour be mineraling - a few insects are known to visit things like meat, dung etc. to extract minerals.