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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

SOS from a dog bowl

This mud dauber, Sceliphron caementarium, may have been trying to get a droplet of water from the dog's bowl to mix with soil and make cells to lay her eggs in. Females build nests this time of year; these are the small (2 to 6 or so cells) nests made of mud found under eaves, in the garage or other spots offering a bit of shelter. I've found them inside wood frame walls in this old house I live in. These wasps are not aggressive; they cruise around looking for mud; and then they hunt for prey to feed to their young. Then they die, usually of old age not from an unseemly dunk in the dog's water.

This one escaped the deep blue, thanks to that handy rose leaf raft that floated by.

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