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.