Saturday, May 02, 2009

Ok - now Zoom in!

Zoom in to right where the wooden upper portion of the Pigeon House (from yesterday) meets the stone foundation part..... another structure with a series of holes -- sort of a miniature of the big structure, but made of mud from the nearby Erie Canal bank? Former home to the Pipe organ mud dauber! (Trypoxylon politum) The mud dauber wasp builds these intricate tubes (other species make less interesting "nests") to protect their young as they develop. The female goes out and finds spiders. She stings them to knock them out, but does not kill them. Her eggs are laid in the comatose spiders (between 3 and 15 spiders per nest). The babies hatch and nibble away on the fresh spider meat. After fully developing as larvae, they form a pupa in the tube, and wait.

A newly minted mud dauber wasp emerges from the mud nest - below. This one is a different species, but I couldn't resist this picture I found on the internet.
Below - an adult mud dauber wasp confronts the job of hauling a large spider to her nest. The male is back at the nest, making buzzing sounds and posturing if anyone approaches! This is a distinct possibility! Another species of mud dauber skips the "mud dauber" part, and just takes over used or unguarded nests, and thus saves a lot of work! Like this latter species, I borrowed the image below also.... this one is a fabulous one to click on for a close-up you won't forget soon!


amarkel58 said...


The Daily Rant said...

When I saw the first picture, I thought it was a snake....did you see the rattler on my blog? But then I see it's a wasps nest....which to me is just as scary! I don't like those little flying creatures! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!