Friday 26 June, 2015 by Uncle Spike
Well who’d’ve guessed? Those ‘wasps nest’, Jabba-the-Hutt looking things are indeed tiny clay wasp cocoons! “The wasps fill their cocoons with spiders as food for the larvae and do not kill them [but] paralyse them. Sometimes an empty wasp’s cocoon will be used by a female spider to lay her eggs in, having poached a used cocoon” [updated following validated advice from reader ‘Fey Fille‘ – thank you!]. At this time of year they are all long uninhabited.
I found these just like this, in a neat row on a shelf in the garage behind an old metal tray. Usually we come across them in the gaps between windows and doors – somewhere tight enough and quiet enough to ensure the wasps can hatch in relative peace and safety.
Stored within the cocoons are some 10-20 of spiders – having cracked open some in the past. Of course this one pictured below is a daddy; stretching perhaps 8cm (3″), but when they escape the cocoon, they are tiny, and fast! One of them opens the door, and they all stampede out in different directions.
They are harmless by the way, and prefer the balcony ceiling corners rather than indoors – their job is to catch other bugs, so I tend to leave them to their work. These next shots show the mess left behind in their enslavement bedroom.
However we also had some great suggestions too:
Some sort of clay oven covered in rust
Parts of tree root emerging through wall & ground
A beetle – to be
Praying mantis nest
A root or bulb maybe iris
Some insects, bugs chrysalis
Something the boy brought home from art class (clay making)
Something made from sand? Created by a creature that lives under the sand on the beach
Eww ??? Afraid to say what it looks like to me…
Man and I only thought that Jabba the Hut was fictional
But the award for best thought out idea goes to Ninna:
It’s poop I think. To be more specific I think it is some kind of snails that constantly stuff themselves with clay, then their bodies takes up the nutritional stuff and the rest of it comes out like that.