Sandra Yagi - Goliath Tigerwasp
Watercolor and ink on moleskin watercolor paper // 11.25 x 15.25
Sandra Yagi created this piece for Antler Gallery's annual show "Unnatural Histories" in 2016.
This is a hybrid of a goliath tigerish and yellow jacket wasp. It inhabited the fields and meadows that lay near stagnant ponds in the unexplored and verdant land known as Jamata and the nearby island Tuzan. The creature was fully described by the naturalist of the Armistead Expedition, which set sail in 1779 from London. Jamata was rumored to lie in the western Pacific Ocean, west of the Vanuatu Islands and due south of the Solomon Islands. The Armistead Expedition was charged with confirming that Jamata did indeed exist, and to catalog its topography, people, flora and fauna.
This fierce wasp is extremely aggressive and has a powerful sting that is often repeated. It lives in small colonies, centered around an egg laying queen. They build a nest using wood pulp shaped into hexagonal cells by worker females. The larvae are fed a diet of large insects, small fish, tadpoles, small snakes and other invertebrates. The indigenous people use the venom in small oral doses as a relaxant. It has few enemies, though there is an anteater that is capable of devouring the grubs and resisting the stings of the adults.
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