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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber

So I was out in the yard celebrating my independence from having to do any sort of work whatsoever today, and I was able to get some photos of the mud dauber wasps (Sceliphron caementarium) hunting. This is the wasp that builds those familiar mud nests in your garage or, as discovered at a neighbor's yard sale yesterday, inside a box long stored away in the garage.

The adult wasps themselves feed on nectar, but they are often seen hunting among the shrubbery and perennials for spiders. They capture and sting these spiders and place them in the cells of their nests. When a cell is full of spider(s), the wasp will lay an egg on top, and seal the cell with mud. The egg hatches, the larva eats the spiders provided by its mother, the circle of life yadda yadda. Too bad for the spiders this time.

The hunting wasp searches under, over and all around leaves and flowers, seen here among the privet and pentas. I did not see this one find anything this time.

At one point she seems to notice me and assumes a threatening posture. Then she turns back to the hunt.


Cindy said...

I like that one shot of the wasp taking off with her legs hanging down.

vanessa cardui said...

Thanks. It is always so exciting when I get an action shot like that and it's actually in focus!