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The Hunt

The Hunt


The Hunt, 2021

60 x 76 cm

Acrylic on canvas


The parasitoid wasp hunts for their prey through smell and utilises conscious learning, previously thought of as too complex for these creatures. Using their antennae, they sense long-distance chemical compounds in the air released by injured plants. Upon approaching the injured leaves, which are releasing the compound, the wasp will then study the area looking for evidence of a caterpillar host. If it happens to find caterpillar faeces, the wasp can identify that exact caterpillar through scent alone. By touching an antenna to the source of the caterpillar’s scent, the wasp is able to compile this information and link various recorded scents together to create a mental database that allows them to hunt a single caterpillar from long range with ease.

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