This is a ******* wasp!

Regular readers will know how the Ranger has an uneasy respect for waspkind. At this time of the year there aren’t many around yet and it’s easy to forget our yellowjacketed friends, but don’t be fooled: they are busy getting ready for the summer. The Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia I was entertained to find, […]

Chrysis inaequidens, the jewelled cuckoo wasp

Look at this gorgeous North American solitary wasp (click the image for a bigger version if you like). Now wonder about its name – why is it named after a bird? After all, cuckoos are hardly known for their brightly coloured plumage. The answer lies in its lifestyle. Cuckoo wasps are so named because they […]

Wasp scissors are safe and simple.

In days gone by, we hear from time to time, people used to make their own entertainment. Indeed they did; and in 1946 a slim tome was published by Wm. A Bagley called ‘Things to make and do’. The descriptive powers of Mr Bagley set out to inspire the youth of post-war Britain to engage in such frugal but beneficial pastimes as […]

This is a ******* wasp!

Regular readers will know how the Ranger has an uneasy respect for waspkind. At this time of the year it’s easy to forget our yellowjacketed friends, but don’t be fooled: they are sleeping, awaiting the summer. The Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia I was entertained to find, whilst reading Imgur’s ‘Best pictures of 2010’ one […]

Beewolf buzzing Ryde once more

In 2007 The Ranger wrote about his local colony of Philanthus triangulum, the European beewolf. Sadly, in 2008 the fearsome little things were nowhere to be found – perhaps they despaired of the dismal weather. In 2009 too I searched without success, but inspired by Ian Boyd’s find in Newchurch I recently went back for […]

What is the purpose of wasps?

What use are wasps? A perennial question. “Why did God make wasps?” is even asked as a theological poser – usually as a rhetorical question that can’t be answered. It is a question that comes with its own implied criticism – after all, nobody would ask “what is the purpose of butterflies?” (zero Google results […]