While we were sitting in the shade enjoying a snack, we were visited by a number of small yellow and brown wasps which I immediately identified as Yellow Paper Wasps, Ropalidia romandi, and warned people about: they sting when threatened. Fortunately we were all mature enough not to react thoughtlessly when the wasps landed on exposed skin, apparently in search of moisture, and no-one was hurt; but we did look for their nest.
Some years ago I noted that I had seen yellow paper wasps, Ropalidia romandi, in my garden but hadn’t seen the nest, presumably also in my garden, which they were coming from. Its location could have been vital information, saving me from a nasty confrontation, so I kept on looking – with no success at all.
I finally spotted it very recently, above the roof-line of our high-set house in a paperbark tree (please visit this page if you want to call it a bottlebrush – it’s both) and overhanging the neighbours’ fence. A clear view of it was only possible from one or two locations even when I knew it was there, so I don’t feel too chagrined at missing it for so long.
A chicken-wire fence forms the boundary between our garden and our neighbours. To the green-ants whose garden we share (that’s the way it feels at times), the fence is a convenient highway. The trio on the right were returning to the nest after a successful hunt when I saw them.
The prey is, I think, a fly. The ants are 8-10mm long, so the fly is only about 2.5mm – certainly not big enough to attract human attention in normal circumstances. I just happened to be there with my camera, on one of my periodic rambles around the garden, and took the photo without being aware of exactly what was going on. There’s always more to see!
Exactly three years ago I posted an article about the queen green-ants I saw on Magnetic Island the day before. They were the first I had seen, and I hadn’t seen any since then until I fished three or four of them out of my swimming pool this morning. They weren’t at their best after their swim so you will have to visit this page for photos.
I looked around my garden for living queens but failed to find any, so all I know of this emergence is that it happened some time in the last 24 hours. I would be interested to hear from readers who have seen more.