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Potter Wasp hunting a caterpillar (with video)

Delta sp.


Large, at least an inch long. Maroon coloured body but head has traces of bright yellow. the green thing it is holding onto is not a is the caterpillar.


The office has lines of chrysanthemum flowers in pots, This wasp was buzzing over those and I wondered why it was ignoring the flowers. Suddenly it dived into the leaves and I knelt to see why. It grappled with the caterpillar (so green that I had not seen it against the green twigs). It stung the caterpillar; I did not see it struggling. But what was fascinating was how the wasp grappled with it...dragged it up the branch and on top of the terminal bud where it rested a bit...then, as the video shows it FLEW away with its much weight can a wasp carry?


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Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Yes the video worked... put me off my dinner. :)

SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

Thanks Hema...hope the video worked.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 6 years ago

amazing indeed!

SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

Thank you, pretty chuffed...and to spot this in such an unlikely place office!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Super spotting Sukanya

SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

Thank you, Polilla, I was truly transfixed...then I thought... we think tigers and lions when we use the word hunting. But this potter wasp was hunting too. Small it may have hunted with such a sense of purpose!

SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

doctorsutaparay: JJ it does look a lot like
which is a Potter wasp from Thailand. Eumenes maybe.
But then is very like Delta conoideum....

doctorsutaparay 6 years ago

Potter wasp?

SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

Rahul...Thank you...glad you enjoyed the video. Much of the action was hidden by the leaves though.

SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

Lauren, Thanks. Glad you liked it. The best shot which I can only see in my minds eye was after it zoomed away (in the video) it paused in midair...the caterpillar dangling in its grasp...then it was gone. Office lunchtime walk was so worth it! Thanks again.

SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

Thanks LeanneGardner ...honestly I was standing right next to the plant and the caterpillar was so well camouflaged but the wasp sensed it right buzzed and buzzed and dived right in...then it consolidated its hold on the caterpillar and hauled it up...rested on the bud as you saw...truly amazing. Thanks for the appreciation.

LaurenZarate 6 years ago

Wow Sukanya! Amazing series. I can't believe you caught it flying away with the caterpillar.

Rahul Upadhyay
Rahul Upadhyay 6 years ago


SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

Thanks must have been really terrifying for the caterpillar...I never even saw it...but the wasp sensed it alright.

LeanneGardner 6 years ago

Great series and video SukanyaDatta. After watching the video, I see now the meal in it's mouth in these photos. Great find!

MudWiggle 6 years ago

oh my goodness! beautiful and terrifying at the same time :)
Awesome photos

Spotted by

Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Spotted on Jan 15, 2016
Submitted on Jan 15, 2016

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