ALASDAIR & PEN'S

A couple of updates

In Insects, Miscellaneous ramblings, Uncategorized on March 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm

 

Our Banded Hornets' nest is gone.

My most recent post – Who Robbed the Coucals? – suggested that maybe it was Asian Giant Hornets or Banded Hornets that broke into the nest of our pair of coucals and ate the eggs.

But I thought I’d ask for an expert opinion. I contacted Associate Professor Paitoon Leksawasdi, an entomologist at Chiang Mai University.

His reply was swift and pretty conclusive: ” Looking at your picture of the egg , there  is a big hole. I think that it was more likely caused by a squirrel than by falling from the nest. The pin holes you mention in one of the eggs
would not have been caused by a hornet. Their biting mouth parts would have made a bigger hole.

“Usually hornets eat caterpillars and other other living things. I have never heard of one piercing and sucking  birds’ eggs.”

So it was most likely squirrels. Thanks, Professor.

The hornet that built the nest seems meanwhile to have given up and gone away. Probably found that the neighbours – us –  are too noisy.

And the big hornet nest I wrote about here is gone. Someone snuck into the garden one night and destroyed it. Somehow they got the whole thing down out of the tree without getting stung to death. All that’s left is some burned remains.

A bit sad, because it was a wonderful structure. But at least now I can cut the grass in that part of the garden.

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