The following post comes to us from our new President, Staffan Lindgren, who in addition to being a great researcher, takes the time to make natural history observations which are crucial for any entomologist.
On occasion I grab my camera and go out in the garden to see if some photogenic insect or other arthropod is willing to pose for me. On October 18, I went out to see what was happening around the rose bushes between ours and our neighbour’s yard. I was immediately struck by the fairly intense activity of yellowjackets, which peaked my curiosity. After looking around for a while I saw what the commotion was all about; a large queen was being mobbed by a number of males. To my knowledge, I have never seen a male yellowjacket wasp before. A casual observer would just think that they were workers, since they are about the same size and don’t otherwise look obviously different. Looking closer I realized that the queen was in copula with one of the males, so I tried to get some photos. It immediately became clear that I had the wrong lens on; my Canon MP-E 65 macro simply couldn’t capture the entire scene. Therefore the photos I managed to take only show parts of the scene. I didn’t have time to go back and change the lens, unfortunately, but below are a few shots.