Paper Wasp Carrying a Larva or Stealing Someone Else's?

Over the weekend I witnessed a wasp running across my parents’ deck carrying a grub of some kind…it stopped and appeared to be chewing on the grub; when I began to photograph it it immediately abandoned the grub and flew off. There is a paper wasp nest below the deck (there is one there every summer).

Is this grub a paper wasp grub being relocated by an adult or was the adult carrying a non-paper wasp grub back to the young of the paper wasp nest - and was it possibly consuming some of the grub to feed the young wasps?!? Any opinions?

1 Like

Wasps are not relocating their young, so yeah, probably it found this larva (the interesting question is how exactly it got it) and feed on it plus wanted to feed young in own nest.


I had a similar observation

1 Like

Yes…I agree. I saw no reason why a wasp would relocate its young…but, I also have no idea how a wasp managed to rob another insect’s nest.

1 Like

Could have been a beetle grub in some dead wood or overturned earth. Or an abandoned nest, or it fell out?

1 Like

The thing is it looks like a social Hymenoptera larva, with head, but no legs visible.


Perhaps the grub was dead or diseased and the wasp was abandoning it far from the nest.

Honeybees do this when their hives are afflicted by disease so I don’t see why paper wasps wouldn’t do the same.


I had a nearly identical situation happen. Paper wasp and all. I didn’t get a picture of the wasp that was dragging it, but here’s the larva that it left behind:

I can confirm it was alive…but, you’re correct, perhaps diseased?

As I’m reviewing my recent observations, I remembered something related. I found two husks of dead grasshoppers just hanging on plants.I took photos of both of them, and when I got home, I realized there was an insect inside the husk of one of them. I think it’s a bee/wasp but I’m not entirely sure.

I suspect the bee/wasp was eating the grasshopper but I can’t find information online about what might be going on.

that appears to be a japanese beetle scavenging the grasshopper.

It’s interesting, I don’t think of japanese beetles as omnivores.

1 Like

Yes. Thanks for taking a look. I think I went toward wasp because they’re known predators and because some of the smaller bees around here have striped abdomens. And I’ve never observed the abdomen of a Japanese Beetle.

Not an exciting species but an unusual observation! I wonder why the grasshopper was hanging on the grass like that. Do they crawl on a plant and die at the end of their life? I’ve been observing grasshoppers since I was a kid (that’s lots of decades) and this was the first time I’ve noticed a dead grasshopper hanging on a plant and I saw two on that day.


Possibly, if the temperature dropped very quickly, the insect was chilled in place unable to move until it died?

I was hiking one day when the temperature dropped quickly. It was amazing to see several butterflies sitting motionless on flowers as (I guess) they were too cold to move. It was fun taking pictures of the stilled butterflies. I figured when the sun came out and warmed them, they would be able to fly off again.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.