Black and Yellow Mud Dauber (Sceliphron caementarium)
The adult ranges in color and size depending on species. The
Organpipe Mud Dauber is 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch long, which is skinny,
black, and elongated.
The Organpipe Mud Dauber wasp reproduces once the nest, which
resembles pipes on an organ, is constructed. The female will pack
one of the cells with spiders and then plant an egg on top of the
spiders, the eggs will hatch and a small maggot like larvae will
emerge. The larva then feed on the paralyzed spiders until about
three weeks when they have matured, and they will spin a cocoon
and overwinter in the nest until the spring when they hatch into full
grown adults. The male Organpipe Mud Daubers may guard the
nest during the warmer months, but when the overwinter process
beings they will leave the nest. This process only happens once,
maybe twice, a year for the Organpipe Mud dauber.
The female wasp will pack each cell with paralyzed spiders, lay an
egg, and seal up the cell. The larvae, which are yellowish white and
about 3/4 of an inch long, will emerge from the egg, and feed on the
spiders until ready for pupation. They will create a cocoon and after
a few weeks they will emerge as a full grown wasp.
These wasps are solitary insects, meaning they do not have castes
among a colony. The queen (female) lays and egg and leaves it
alone, there is never really any protection needed for the nest. This
wasp is non-aggressive and only uses its stinger to paralyze its prey
(spiders). If they do sting a human it is only because they were
handled too much or they were caught in clothing.
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