Fennel Stories #2 Polistes dominula

European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula with a black blob, maybe a berry? On fennel. October 14, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.

Fennel Stories
#2 European Paper Wasp
Polistes dominula

The only hornet-type wasp with yellow-orange to red antennae. And they are everywhere in North America. Apparently the first report was from Boston area in 1978, by 1997 the European Paper Wasp had spread to Windsor and southwestern Ontario. Far right on fennel group photo.

The late-planted fennel (June) is still in bloom and covered with insects. Other than a few flowers left on Purple Salvia, and some hanging baskets, it is the last of the garden.

European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula with a black blob on its hind leg, on fennel. October 14, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.
European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula with a black blob on its hind leg, on fennel. October 14, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.

 

 

This European Paper Wasp caught my eye. It had a huge black blob on its hind leg.

What was it?

 

 

European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula with a black blob, maybe a berry? On fennel. October 14, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.
European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula with a black blob, maybe a berry? On fennel. October 14, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.

 

 

Maybe he stepped on a soft berry.

 

 

 

 

European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula with Black Carpenter Ant head on its leg. October 14, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.
European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula with Black Carpenter Ant head on its leg. October 14, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.

It wasn’t until the photos were uploaded and edited that the true identity was revealed.

It was a Carpenter Ant head!  Still clinging to his leg by its mandibles – never to let go.

 

 

 

European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula with Black Carpenter Ant head on its leg. October 14, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.
European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula with Black Carpenter Ant head on its leg. October 14, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.

 

Everything else was missing – no antennae or body. Just a head.

Nipped in the bud, so to speak.

Incapacitated – decapitated.

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