The nutritional preferences of wasps strongly depend on both their specific type and the stage of development of the insect. For example, the most common and common paper wasps in the adult state are not able to digest solid food, and their larvae, on the contrary, just eat meat and relatively solid protein food.
And although at first glance it may seem that the wasps eat everything in a row - from grapes to meat and salted fish - in fact these insects are very picky in food. The false impression of what the wasps eat is due to the fact that the food is collected by adult insects - both for themselves and for the larvae.
It is interesting
Strict separation of the diet in adult insects and their larvae is a very effective evolutionary device that avoids competition for food between individuals of the same species at different stages of development. When the larva feeds on food that an adult insect can not consume, a situation can not be created in which, due to the limited food resources, individuals at a certain stage will simply perish from hunger. This phenomenon is most pronounced in some species of butterflies and podoken: their adult individuals are not able to eat at all. On the contrary, insects that can consume a wide range of products or live directly near a food source, do not have such separation. These include, for example, cockroaches, locusts or bedbugs.
What really feed the adult wasps
So what do the wasps really eat? The basis of the diet of adults is the juices of various berries and fruits. These products are very nutritious, easily accessible during the life of working insects, and in certain seasons are truly found in abundance and do not require serious energy consumption for consumption.
That's why the wasps eat strawberries, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, plums. Ducks usually notice that insects gnaw out the soft parts of the fruit, while leaving the skin.
Less often, wasps eat apples or pears - these fruits are much harder, but when they are ripe they are quite "toothy" to the striped pests.
To summer residents in the event of damage to these insects, the harvest is recommended to make or buy special net sacks and to protect the fruits from eating to put them on apples or grape clusters.
It is interesting
Wasps are extremely indifferent to fermented plant raw materials. They are especially active in flying to fallen grapes or apricots, often making small holes in the skin of grapes, and a few days later they come back and drink the juice from the places where the flesh began to wander. Therefore, in traps from wasps, brags, beer and kvass are often used.
In addition to natural sweets, if possible, the wasps eat various syrups, jams, just wet and damp sugar, honey.
However, the food of the wasps is not limited only to plant food: their larvae are predators. Adult insects catch for the younger generation of various insects, chew on their soft tissues and pass on the larva to the resulting protein gruel. Such food allows the larvae to quickly gain weight and grow.
But even before the transportation of the wasps, only after catching the victim, it gnaws at her the veils of the body and licks the hemolymph - the analogue of the blood of the more highly developed animals. Hemolymph is rich in proteins and completely provides the need for adult wasps in these substances.
However, after the nurse delivers a "bloodless" sacrifice to the larva and feeds her, she receives a nutritious "reward" in the form of saliva, which the larva itself allocates in large numbers. This is another source of food for adult wasps, called tropholaxis, the exchange of food between the larva and the adult insect.
Do wasps eat meat and fish?
What do the wasps eat yet? Sometimes it may seem that wasps eat meat, but this is not so. Insects simply chew their jaws and carry them to the larvae, chewing the prey along the way. Thus, adult wasps do not eat meat, but give this food to their younger generation.
The carrion in nature, meat and fish in the markets are more accessible sources of feed for striped winged predators - these products simply lie in the open, they do not need to be killed, risking their lives sometimes, and spend a lot of energy on it. Therefore, the wasps are so numerous, for example, in the fish or meat rows in the markets. In addition, near the nests of hornets, the remains of rodents and lizards were often found - insects detect a dead animal and, without the slightest squeamishness, carry it to pieces in a nest.
Speaking of hornets, it is worth noting that most of them food preferences are similar to those of smaller relatives. After all, by and large all hornets are a separate genus of wasps, uniting some of the largest representatives of the entire suborder. Many hornets ruin the nests of bees, they feed their own larvae and their larvae, and they themselves gladly take honey.
Some very large species of hornet can hunt small, only hatched lizards or catch metamorphosis of frogs, but such cases are still extremely rare, and the meat of the victims themselves is used only as food for larvae.
In some cases, the situation with the division of food can go to extremes. For example, for larvae of a bee wolf - a philanthropist - nectar in general is a poisonous substance, and an adult must squeeze it out of the esophagus of a captured bee and eat it on its own. And the very bee the philant puts in the mink, where it will be eaten by a descendant.
There is also a group of wasps, which even larvae are fed with vegetarian food. According to the nature of food these insects are somewhere in between the usual wasps, feeding larvae with meat food, and bees harvesting honey for offspring. It's a flower wasp. They themselves in the adult state eat nectar plants and for their larvae harvest nectar in the nests.
Interestingly, many types of flower wasps are similar to ordinary paper, and an inexperienced observer can easily confuse them.
There is even a species of wasps Brachygastra lecheguana, which is considered to be the only species of insects that harvests and stores honey (Australian, African and Mexican honey ants do not count - they do not store honey, but simply store it in their bodies).
Unusual food cravings
However, that's not all: in nature there are wasps with much more original food preferences. For example:
- Scoliosis is a huge wasp (among them is the largest wasp in the world of Megascolia procer), which in the adult state feed on nectar, and eggs are deposited on paralyzed larvae of beetles. Their own larvae feed, eating still alive, but unable to move the victim.
- The wasps are lustrous, the larvae of which are parasitic on the larvae of other single wasps.
- Road wasps, many species of which feed their offspring with spiders, including fairly poisonous tarantulas.
- Single German wasps, which penetrate the nests of social relatives and lay their eggs directly on the larvae of the same paper wasps.
In general, in the vast majority of os, adults eat mainly plant food, and larvae - animal: either parasitizing on the victims, or receiving food from adult insects.
The exception to this rule is either more primitive wasps, which at all stages are fed by animal food, or, conversely, more evolutionarily developed, which themselves consume the nectar of plants and larvae they feed them or products of its processing.