Monday, January 3, 2011

Mud-dauber Wasps

Mud-Dauber Wasp Cells
A bit of tidying in the tool cupboard gave me this image. The wasp has obviously been coming here for more than a couple of seasons. WildLife of Greater Brisbane describes a Mud Dauber Wasp which covers the up to three layers of cells with extra mud. Each cell is filled with spiders for the wasp larva to eat while it matures.

I am assuming this is the similar species the text describes, Sceliphron formosum, which does not cover cells with extra mud and is a coastal wasp ranging from Northern Territory, through Queensland and down to New South Wales.

The wasp itself is slim with a thread-like waist. Gold and black. I don't know if it stings, usually one can wave this one gently out of the way if it flies nearby.

These are the wasps that overseas are implicated in aircraft crashes, and locally for getting into the smallest holes and stuffing lawn mower apertures with mud, keyholes, car ignitions and gas system intakes. Many local farmers spend hours undoing waspish labour to get things working again.

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