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Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

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19 May 2019 | Wasps in the Park | Lesser Paper Wasp | Scoliid Wasp |

Wasps are rarely seen in large numbers unless around their nests. Recently, I had seen a congregation of 2 wasps, Lesser Paper Wasp (Parapolybia varia) and Scoliid Wasp (Campsomeris species). The former were attempting to construct a nest while the later were a spontaneous gathering on flowers of a shrub.

The first time that I came across the group of Lesser Paper Wasp (actually only 2 of them) was on 23 March. Both of them were working toward constructing a nest at the underside of a leaf from the Wild Cinnamon (Cinnamomum iners). The number of wasps increase to 4 in my next visit on 6 April and progress was seen with the nest building. Unfortunately, the nest disappeared on 20 April but 3 wasps were still at the same location under the leaf. A week later on 28 April, things seemed to be move forward again. The nest was still intact in my last visit on 12 May. After observing 3 nests of this wasp so far, including this one, I was quite certain that this wasp construct its nest only on Wild Cinnamon tree. I will try to continue my visits to monitor the nest-building activity.

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The second wasp was a more common Scoliid Wasp (Campsomeris species). A group of at least 8 of them were visiting a flowering Bandicoot Berry (Leea indica) shrub. They were very active, moving from one flower to another, only staying still for a few seconds. This wasp looked like a bee and might sometimes be confused as such. It is known to parasite beetle larvae.

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While searching for information on bees and wasps over the last few weeks, I had resolved the identity of a previously unknown wasp --- Polistes tenebris. This wasp was last seen in 2011 and it was very rare.

I had listed below the links to my previous weekly posts where I had shared images of wasps for ease of reference:

To use any of the image(s), please read the conditions carefully. To correct any error, please contact me.