Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Some days, it's best to stay asleep....

Yesterday this wasp was coaxed out of hibernation in our conservatory by the bright sunshine, even though there was still plenty of snow on the ground outside in the garden. After buzzing against the window for a while it discovered the insectivorous pitcher plants (Sarracenia sp.) that I grow on the window ledge and began to feed on the sugary nectar that they secrete from around the tops of the funnel-shaped traps.

This is what it was after - the sweet drops of nectar, but they proved its undoing, because when it ventured too far into the trap it lost its grip on the smooth inner surface ...

..... and plummeted down to the bottom of the trap ....

.... where it became wedged head-first in a pool of the plant's digestive fluid.

That might of been the end of the story but it seemed a pity that it should enjoy such a brief life in the sunshine so I cut the pitcher, extracted the waterlogged wasp and exiled it to the greenhouse.

This morning there was no sign of it in the spot where I left it, so either it's crawled back into hibernation ...... or the greenhouse spiders have got it. All things considered, it would have been better if it had stayed asleep.

More insectivorous plants here, here and here ...


  1. A fascinating account, Phil, and beautiful images (as always!). Thank you for sharing them with us.

    1. Thanks for visiting Richard. Best wishes, Phil

  2. A great post (as always). Your 'adventures' with wildlife never fail to amuse and educate.

  3. Thanks John, the pitcher plants are formidable wasp catchers - but I did once see a wasp escape by chewing through the wall of the pitcher!