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Sunday, April 10, 2016

When Given Colored Construction Paper, Wasps Build Rainbow Colored Nests

Biology student Mattia Menchetti gave colored construction paper to a colony of European paper wasps. By gradually providing different paper shades, the wasps turned their homes into a functional rainbow of different colors. 

He started by feeding his captive wasps yellow paper, and then gradually began introducing more shades. The insects soon created a technicolor home for their larvae. In addition to making for some unusual eye candy, the nest is sturdy as well. A protein in the saliva of European paper wasps is so effective in making their nests waterproof that it's been used by scientists for a biodegradable drone.
You can see more of Menchetti’s experiment on his website.

Kind of related: 

Predicting weather with bug sex

How wasps helped give us wine.

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