Black and Yellow Mud Dauber (Sceliphron caementarium) like all sphecids are more closely related to bees than to the vespid wasps. They are solitary insects that build nests out of mud in sheltered locations, frequently on man-made structures. These nests are not aggressively defended, and stings are rare. Mud daubers make use of spiders to provision their cells. The black and yellow mud dauber’s nest is comprised of a series of cylindrical cells that are plastered over to form a smooth nest that may attain nearly the size of a human fist. After building a cell, the female wasp captures several spiders. The captured prey are stung and paralyzed before being placed in the nest, and then a single egg is deposited on the prey within each cell. The wasp then seals the cell with mud. After finishing a series of cells, she leaves and does not return. Eventually, the hatching larva will eat the prey and emerge from the nest. A common species of cuckoo wasp, Chrysis angolensis, is frequently a cleptoparasite in Sceliphron nests, and is only one of many different insects that parasitize these mud daubers.
EXIF info – Aperture : ƒ/9 | Camera : Canon EOS 40D | Taken : 25 June, 2008 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 100 | Location : 13° 4′ 2.12844″ N 74° 59′ 44.3328″ E | Shutter speed : 1/250s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.