When I first saw the topic for today’s Photography 101 assignment, architecture, my first thought was, “Well, guess I won’t post anything today because there is no way I can tie buildings into my insect blog!” Then I thought about it a bit and realized the insects build structures too. I’ve heard the phrase “insect architecture” many times in reference to these structures, so I went looking for some examples after work today. Some of the insect-made structures I found were formed from bodily secretions by the insects using the structure. Tent caterpillars build their tents out of silk that they excrete:
Some of the tents are getting quite large! I suspect several will get even bigher before the caterpillars abandon them.
This structure is also built from bodily fluids:
That’s the backside of a mantid egg case. When the female mantid first lays her eggs, they are embedded in a sort of foam. That foam hardens into a case that protects the eggs inside. And speaking of eggs, this structure started because of the egg of a fly:
Goldenrod galls are not built by the insect directly – they make the plant do it for them! The fly lays an egg in the stem of a goldenrod plant and the larva that eventually hatches out hollows out a little space around itself as it feeds. Their feeding stimulates the plant to grow more cells around the larva and, over time, the structure in the photo is formed. The gall feeds the developing larva until it pupates and emerges as an adult. In this case, the structure wasn’t directly built by the larva, rather the insect caused the plant to grow more vigorously around it.
And last, a paper wasp nest:
Or the beginning of one at least. Paper wasps gather bits of dead wood and plants, mix them with saliva, and build these amazing structures. Pretty cool for a home held together by spit!
And with that, my work here is done for the day. See you again tomorrow!
Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth.
15 thoughts on “Architecture”
Very creative spin on the assignment. I appreciate your out of the box approach. Wish I had some of your creative ideas! Very nice!
Thank you!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
Great photos and lovely examples
Thank you so much!
Fascinating to focus on natural creations, indeed they are structures, lovely shots!
A very interesting post.
So glad you liked it!
Thank you, they were both taking a rest at a busy market.
Wow! This is amzing! Nature never fails to amaze me <3
Agreed! Nature is amazing, which is why I like to write about and photograph it. Insects have such huge variation and so many interesting things to learn about that you can spend a lifetime doing nothing but learning about them and still barely scratch the surface. I find that inspiring!
It is inspiring <3
Keep up the amazing work :)
Thank you so much!
Great photos and information!—John
Thanks John! So glad you like the post.