I've been busy getting to know 17,000 baby wasps over the past two months in Panama, which explains my slight silence on the blog front. My species is the striking dark red Polistes canadensis, but we've also run into a number of other species (from the tiny Polybia to the redoubtable and oddly-beautiful Synoeca - one of the few insects to possess the maximum score on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index). Above, in a tree in the Bay of Colon is Apoica pallens, a strange white wasp because it spends the daytime huddled neatly over the brood and does all its foraging during the night.
Of course, no blog post should be without a snap of P. canadensis, so here is my PhD species in all its glory - making full use of the daytime:
These colonies are on the Caribbean side of Panama, near the mouth of the Chagres River. Here's Pieter looking out at the river as the evening draws in:
Adventures of a
Dr Patrick Kennedy, Radford Lab, University of Bristol | Zoology