Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A crawling wonder on back!

At school, as boys we used to play on its sandy ground. Then we were often stunned by feeling some creature crawling up between our shirt and the back. As soon as we understood it to be a 'biting ant' we pulled out our shirts and brushed away this ant - to avoid its agonizing bite. Yes, this is a special type of 'ant' that looks like an ant; but it is a different one: a Flightless Wasp! (Eupelmus vesicularis, 'Rail vandi erumbu, Soogai erumbu' in Tamil).

We get this wasp on our body whenever we sit under Peepal tree (Sacred Fig) to play in its shade. It crawls on the tree up on its high branches and falls (jumps) down between our neck and collar of shirt! It is a honey-coloured wasp with black head and abdomen. It has an enlarged apical spur on each of its middle tibiae which is a jumping device - a compensatory structure for its loss of flying capacity.
I had transported more than sixteen kilometers one of this wonder wasp on my back to my house where I went all around behind it to click and trap its image into my camera!

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