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Jul 30 2012

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: menial work in natty attire

I do all my work at a desk — I’m not hauling mud! — and I don’t look this good.

(via Entomolog)

10 comments

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  1. 1
    birgerjohansson

    Mud wasp nests are good for dating rock carvings/paintings on surfaces.
    I am a bit surprised by the length of the very thin midriff. All the diameter must be taken up by the gut plus blood vessels.

  2. 2
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    If your waist was that thin you could claim to be another Jenny Craig success story! I don’t know if the black and yellow would be a look that zoots you, though.

  3. 3
    The Mellow Monkey

    Absolutely gorgeous shot.

  4. 4
    Glen Davidson

    Those stripes tend to make one look fat.

    Unless, that is, one is a wasp-waisted gal.

    Glen Davidson

  5. 5
    epicure

    “Those stripes tend to make one look fat.”

    Not according the the QI TV programme – they say research has shown the opposite to be true!

  6. 6
    Worldtraveller

    I don’t know if the black and yellow would be a look that zoots you, though.

    I see what you did there.

  7. 7
    ChasCPeterson

    Daub it!
    (hmmm, actually it seems that mud daubers are in a different…uh…superfamily! huh.)

    All of the insect characteristics are nicely on display here: shiny waterproof exoskeleton, three compound segments, each with specialized appendages including antennae, mandibles, 6 walking legs, and a stinger, plus wings (which are not ‘appendages’ but extensions of the exoskeleton).
    If they weren’t size-limited we would be bowing to them, our Masters.

  8. 8
    David Marjanović

    three compound segments

    The compounds are called tagmata.

    a stinger

    Few insects have that – though of course more have the ovipositor it’s derived from, and all have some kind of limbs at the end of the abdomen, usually with genital functions.

    wings (which are not ‘appendages’ but extensions of the exoskeleton)

    Wings are a pterygote feature, not an insect feature, and in terms of development genetics and history they do seem to be derived from parts of branched limbs, except the history hasn’t been quite worked out yet.

  9. 9
    Keith Peterson

    Wait. Why is evolution selecting for wasps with such a thin body plan?

  10. 10
    Menyambal

    Whaddaya mean, you’re not hauling mud? You are a college prof and the proprietor of this blog. One of those has to count.

    As a sometime aerodynamicist, I am guessing the long body midsection serves to keep the rearmost section out of the downdraft from the wings.

    As a sometime engineer, I am guessing the long body midsection serves to keep the rearmost section out as a counterbalance when handling pellets of mud out in front of the body. You can see that the midsection is kinked under and the pellet is held close. As the hovering wasp extends the pellet out to put it on the structure, the midsection can be rotated out from under, extending the rear body as a counterbalance.

    Or both.

    (Sorry I didn’t memorize the proper terms for the parts. Thanks for listing them.)

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