MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: Can you give me instructions on how to take the venom of a wasp out?

Date: Tue Mar 28 10:04:32 2000
Posted By: Dawn Nelson, Faculty, Biology, Environmental Studies, Warren Wilson College
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 953686780.Gb

So. . . I'm assuming you want to acquire the venom, and then treat the 
caterpillars in different ways with it? Very interesting! I'm not familiar 
with wasp/bee research, so I don't know how the real experts do it. You 
might look for web sites or books that deal with beekeeping. I have a 
couple of ideas you might also try. Find a good diagram of the anatomy of 
your wasps, locate the venom sacs, then dissect a few wasps and see if you 
can remove the sacs intact. Or, use forceps to grab a live wasp by the 
wings (I suggest cooling her down in a fridge first so that she's slower 
and more docile), then give her something to "sting" - perhaps a glass with 
plastic wrap secured over the top. let her sting through the plastic, and 
see if you can get a drop of venom. I'm not sure if the wasp would need the 
stimulus of puncturing something to sting or not. Perhaps she would sting 
directly onto a petri dish. Or, you could always hold the wasp up to a 
caterpillar. . .   Good luck!

[Get an adult to help you!!]

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