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Mud Dauber
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Sep 25, 2020 21:40:48   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
This is one of my preserved Mud Daubers that I brought out for a focus stacking session at 5X magnification.

There are several varieties and this one is the more common yellow and black. They make their by building up little bits of mud until they have built nest cells side by side or on top of one another. The final final nest is rounded and about the size of a lemon or a fist. Their nests can be found under any structure that protects it from the elements. We have dozens of them on the timbers and the underside of the roofing of our sheds.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Mud Dauber is that they place paralyzed spiders in the nest cells as provisions for their young's first meal. They stinging the spider to subdues them to help preserve it. When the wasp larvae hatch, they have a fresh meal waiting for them. I've watched them carry the spiders in their mandibles as they try to navigate their way to the nest they've build. Many times the spiders are nearly the size of the Mud Dauber and when it's windy they have a dickens of a time getting the job done.

I've opened up the nests and found them full of the remains of spiders and it is much like opening a long forgotten Egyptian tomb as you can see in the image of the one that I opened last summer.


(Download)


(Download)

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Sep 25, 2020 22:29:04   #
quixdraw Loc: American Free States -- Montana
 
Very cool & interesting! Are things that eat lots of spiders my friends??? ;-)

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Sep 25, 2020 22:58:35   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
quixdraw wrote:
Very cool & interesting! Are things that eat lots of spiders my friends??? ;-)


Quixdraw, thanks for viewing and for the reply. Actually the "Blue Mud Daubers" specialize in feeding their hatching larvae with 'Black Widow Spiders'. They use empty nests made years before by the others as their nesting spots. I imagine that because they choose the more venomous spiders they let the black and yellow mud daubers do all the hard work of building.

By the way, the black and yellows prefer crab spiders as their choice for their emerging young.

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Sep 26, 2020 06:20:41   #
Manglesphoto Loc: 70 miles south of St.Louis
 
sippyjug104 wrote:
This is one of my preserved Mud Daubers that I brought out for a focus stacking session at 5X magnification.

There are several varieties and this one is the more common yellow and black. They make their by building up little bits of mud until they have built nest cells side by side or on top of one another. The final final nest is rounded and about the size of a lemon or a fist. Their nests can be found under any structure that protects it from the elements. We have dozens of them on the timbers and the underside of the roofing of our sheds.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Mud Dauber is that they place paralyzed spiders in the nest cells as provisions for their young's first meal. They stinging the spider to subdues them to help preserve it. When the wasp larvae hatch, they have a fresh meal waiting for them. I've watched them carry the spiders in their mandibles as they try to navigate their way to the nest they've build. Many times the spiders are nearly the size of the Mud Dauber and when it's windy they have a dickens of a time getting the job done.

I've opened up the nests and found them full of the remains of spiders and it is much like opening a long forgotten Egyptian tomb as you can see in the image of the one that I opened last summer.
This is one of my preserved Mud Daubers that I bro... (show quote)


Fantastic images Gary
Interesting info., learned a lot.
I have always left Mug Daubers alone, I don't know why, but maybe because I have never been stung by one.

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Sep 26, 2020 07:12:27   #
JRiepe Loc: Southern Illinois
 
Another great one. Years ago we called these dirt daubers but it is in mud that they daub to build their nests. While still a kid I watched one building a nest. It would go off then come back carrying a small ball of mud. It would then roll that mud out adding another layer to the nest then leave for more mud. Nature amazes me.

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Sep 26, 2020 07:59:42   #
EnglishBrenda Loc: Kent, England
 
I like the interesting write up and the image, well done again.

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Sep 26, 2020 09:14:49   #
dpullum Loc: Tampa Florida
 
I remember them from when I was a kid. I appreciate the education.

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Sep 26, 2020 10:00:34   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
Manglesphoto wrote:
Fantastic images Gary
Interesting info., learned a lot.
I have always left Mug Daubers alone, I don't know why, but maybe because I have never been stung by one.


Thanks, Mud Daubers are not known to sting people although they can if they are handed in a way that they feel threatened holding it or perhaps if one steps on one. Their venom is far too valuable in preparing their nesting sites for their young and it's a lot of work building the nest making mud from a few grains of dirt at a time.

Like you, I leave them alone and nature has a delicate balance and when we interfere with one species others move in to take its place often in disastrous ways for there are no natural enemies to those that have filled the void.

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Sep 26, 2020 10:02:54   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
JRiepe wrote:
Another great one. Years ago we called these dirt daubers but it is in mud that they daub to build their nests. While still a kid I watched one building a nest. It would go off then come back carrying a small ball of mud. It would then roll that mud out adding another layer to the nest then leave for more mud. Nature amazes me.


Thanks, nature has some of the most amazing builders. Man uses tools and machinery to build their structures. An insect has only its mandibles and forelegs. I can't imagine building a house using only my teeth..!

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Sep 26, 2020 10:07:42   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
EnglishBrenda wrote:
I like the interesting write up and the image, well done again.


Thanks, Brenda. I make no pretense of knowledge of entomology whatsoever and there are folks here that are experts in that field. Being retired I have time on my hands to observe and the curiosity to learn a bit more and to start sharing both with my posts for those who many have a basic interest.

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Sep 26, 2020 10:15:23   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
dpullum wrote:
I remember them from when I was a kid. I appreciate the education.


Thanks, on occasion over the years I would see a Mud Dauber carrying something which I thought that it was going somewhere to eat it. Actually, that was not the exact case for the meal was for its young within the sealed nest.

When you see the mud clogs with the hole in them those are the ones that the hatched Mud Dauber has emerged. The mud clogs you find that do not have a hole are the ones that were not successful. This is most often due to small scavenger insects eating the egg or larvae.

This is one that I found that did not make it and you can see the holes in the egg sack where the scavengers ate through it. If you look closely at the bottom left of the egg sack you will see one of the scavenging insects.


(Download)

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Sep 26, 2020 10:41:59   #
JRiepe Loc: Southern Illinois
 
sippyjug104 wrote:
Thanks, nature has some of the most amazing builders. Man uses tools and machinery to build their structures. An insect has only its mandibles and forelegs. I can't imagine building a house using only my teeth..!


Nest building by birds amazes me.

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Sep 26, 2020 10:53:59   #
JRiepe Loc: Southern Illinois
 
Sippy, to add to your story about mud daubers and spiders I'm posting an image of an insect which I believe to be a mud dauber along with the spider it has paralyzed. Hope posting this on your post doesn't upset you. I think it just shows what you are stating.


(Download)

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Sep 26, 2020 12:41:50   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
JRiepe wrote:
Sippy, to add to your story about mud daubers and spiders I'm posting an image of an insect which I believe to be a mud dauber along with the spider it has paralyzed. Hope posting this on your post doesn't upset you. I think it just shows what you are stating.


Wow, thanks for adding to it and please feel free to do so whenever you have additional subject content for we all benefit. They are highly industrious and constantly on the hunt to provide for their offspring. It also amazes me to see the size and weight ratio between the paralyzed spider and the Mud Dauber as it tries to lift off and fly carrying it.

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Sep 26, 2020 12:42:55   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
JRiepe wrote:
Nest building by birds amazes me.


Oh, I agree with that too. Some birds nests are a masterpiece of engineering.

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