Mud dauber (Superfamily: Apoidea) - Wiki
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[Photo] Black and Yellow Mud Dauber, Sceliphron caementarium. Description: black and yellow mud dauber wasp, Sceliphron caementarium. Source http://www.cirrusimage.com/bees_wasps_mud_dauber.htm Date 09/05/2005. Author Bruce Marlin
Families: Some Sphecidae and Crabronidae
Mud dauber (sometimes "dirt dauber," "dirt dobber," or "dirt diver" in the southern U.S.) is a name commonly applied to a number of wasps from either the family Sphecidae or Crabronidae that build their nests from mud. Mud dauber may refer to:
- The organ pipe mud dauber, Trypoxylon politum (family Crabronidae)
- The black and yellow mud dauber, Sceliphron caementarium (family Sphecidae)
- The irridescent blue mud dauber, Chalybion californicum (family Sphecidae)
Mud daubers are long, slender wasps, the latter two species above with thread-like waists. The name of this wasp group comes from the nests that are made by the females, which consist of mud molded into place by the wasp's mandibles. There are three common species of mud daubers, each with distinctive coloring: the organ-pipe mud dauber (solid black coloring), the black and yellow mud dauber, and a stunning metallic-blue mud dauber with blue wings.
The organ-pipe mud dauber, as the name implies, builds nests in the shape of a cylindrical tube resembling an organ pipe or pan flute. 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 about the size of a lemon. The metallic-blue mud dauber foregoes building a nest altogether and simply uses the abandoned nests of the other two species. Mud daubers are rarely aggressive.
Mud daubers pose a special risk to aircraft operation, as they are prone to nest in the small openings and tubes that comprise aircraft pitot/static systems. Their presence in these systems can disable or impair the function of the airspeed indicator, the altimeter, and/or the vertical speed indicator.
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