Mud Daubers- A Little Daub Will Do Ya

One of our common haunts here in Southern Maryland hosts many pipe organ mud dauber nests.  Some of them are still in the process of being made.  Earlier this week we watched two different nests as they were being constructed.  This nest below was an old one (note the holes from hatched larvae) that was getting an add-on tube.  The mud at the bottom of that tube is a darker color because it was still wet.  For locals- this one is outside the side entrance to the Great Room.

The kids and I have watched several great Youtube videos about these amazing builders so it was really neat to see that the nests were active this week. We watched one female zoom off for more mud while the male stood guard over the nest. Each channel of each mud tube has one egg inside and when the larvae hatches out it will eat the paralyzed spiders that get stuffed inside with it.  When it is ready it will break through the mud leaving a hole behind it.

The wasps themselves are blue and large enough to be seen at a distance.  This is great for kids- they can actually watch what is happening in a nest without having to use binoculars.

My daughter had the idea to connect paper towel tubes in order to make a replica.



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