Astata_100710_1424_pole_smallAstata male waiting for a female
The males of the digger wasp Astata boops (Schrank, 1781) are waiting for females at a perch. The male will take off trying to intercept insects flying along. Afterwards the male will return to its perch.

 

Astata_100710_1420_Take_off

Take off of a male Astata from its perch. The male is accelerating with approximately 30 m/s2.

Astata_interception_anim

A part (80 ms) of the path of an Astata male trying to intercept some target insect.

 

A simple strategy for  interception of a target is known as Pure Pursuit (Paul J. Nahin : Chases and Escapes. Princeton University Press 2007). In Pure Pursuit the follower is heading to the target at each moment. The male Astata is using a more intelligent strategy by predicting the course of the target as given in the picture below.Astata_intersect

This picture is derived from the animation given above. The diamonds indicate the position of the target. The time between each diamond is 1/150 s. The male Astata at moment 8/150 is not directed to the position of the target at 8/150 but is directed at some predicted point.

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