Ultrastructural details made visible of the surface of an unidentified wasps nest

At a moderately high magnification of 681x this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted some of the ultrastructural details made visible of the surface of an unidentified wasps nest found on the ground in the Decatur, Georgia suburbs. Note that the nest material takes on the appearance of woven fibers embedded in a glue-like matrix, very similar to the way in which rebar, i.e., iron textured rods, is embedding in concrete to reinforce the building material. Scattered amongst the matrix are small cellulose particulates.

Wasp nests are primarily composed of a mixture of masticated wood chips, and the salivary secretions of the female wasps, who chew, and apply the mixture in a nest-building fashion unique to the specie of wasp. The nest is built around a configuration of hexagonal-shaped cells. A single egg is deposited into each cell, which will hatch into a larva, or pupa, that after a varying period of development, will seal itself into the cell, and metamorphose into an adult wasp.