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Location: Wyoming, USA

While spending time at a prairie-dog colony, I noticed yellow jackets flying around their heads. As I studied the activity through the 500mm lens, I realized they were consuming the moisture coming out of the prairie dog’s nose and eyes. Not only is this a water source for the wasps, but it probably supplies salt and other minerals as well. In this image, you can see the yellow jacket hovering in front of the second prairie dog’s nose for a drink.

Prairie dogs obtain all the moisture they need eating plants and in-turn, it seems, provide multiple drinking fountains for the wasps. The dogs didn’t seem to mind and probably benefit greatly by having these predatory wasps around to feed on insects that are not beneficial to their health…isn’t nature amazing. If any prairie dog and/or insect expert wants to provide a more detailed or alternative explanation, please do so…thanks.

I started out as an artist, became a pilot, and ended up where I am now: nature photographer and educator. Being a pilot allowed me to observe the Earth and humanity’s impact on it from 30,000 feet for many years. It allowed me to experience different cultures and to see the world through many lenses.

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Comments

  • Donuts
    Donutsabout 3 years ago

    This is very cool and now I’m curious to know if your observations are correct, Cheers!

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • mamba
    mambaabout 3 years ago

    Whether correct or not and without getting too involved with the theoretical possible possibilities, I find your timing and postures in this catch fantastic William.

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • lcretyi
    lcretyiabout 3 years ago

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • Christian Eccleston
    Christian Eccl...about 3 years ago

    very cool

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • lcretyi
    lcretyiabout 3 years ago

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • lorilee
    lorileeabout 3 years ago

    Uh oh!!!! LOL What a GREAT capture!!! :-)

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • rocamiadesign
    rocamiadesignabout 3 years ago

    Wonderful shot!

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • Lori Deiter
    Lori Deiterabout 3 years ago

    12-4-11~ Congrats on being featured in Squirrels, Chipmunks & Relatives ~ keep up the great work!!!

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • Jan Cartwright
    Jan Cartwrightabout 3 years ago

    Ouch! Hope that wasp didn’t sting the prairie dog’s nose. Truly amazing how the world’s creatures work together when people don’t get in the way…

  • thank you…I don’t think the wasp would sting the water source :-) As for the last part of your comment, well said :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • Sue Ratcliffe
    Sue Ratcliffealmost 3 years ago

    Congratulations! Featured March 11 2012. Great image!!!!

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

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