This is something I have never seen before.
This line of five cocoon like packages was found after splitting a log of ash, collected in Uffington, UK. The hole was bored in the log possibly by a beetle larvae and I assume that these are the cocoon stage of whatever made the holes. Each cocoon is perfectly wrapped in a leaf and measures about 10 mm x 16 mm.
Is anyone able to identify this?
This is the work of a leaf-cutter bee.
There are a few species, such as Megachile centuncularis
They will use a wide range of suitably-sized dark holes. The page below shows their larval cells inside a piece of bamboo -
But man-made nesting tubes are adopted quite readily, too
Now I understand why bamboo is used for bee houses.
Now that they are exposed, any advice on keeping them alive? I am thinking of just storing them in the greenhouse, somewhere cool and dry.
Yes - cool and not too dry, and dark except at the open end would be good (may help the adults find their way out).
I suggest also: put another piece of wood up against the side of it, to keep the cells from falling out and protect them from predators. That will also accomplish the darkening.
Absolutly fantastic Bob, and thanks Mike... this is a first for me.
This would also make a fab project if you could document this with images and a brief story of the stages.
Something like a small glass fish tank would allow you to document the stages of growth... school kids would love this... (mee too)
I have just the thing. I'll take Mike's advice on protecting them and will try to document any changes. Look for an update in the spring!
by the way, I've also inspected my wood pile and separated out any other logs which look like they could be occupied.