Animals

The Mud Dauber Wasp: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Mud daubers are known for building mud nests. Here are a few mud dauber wasp facts
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Before we learn all the details about mud daubers, we need to know what a wasp is! A Wasp is any insect with a narrow-waist, wings, a sting, and black and yellow stripes across its body.

The scientific name of the black and yellow mud dauber wasp is Sceliphron caementarium. These wasps are native to California, the United States of America. The mud dauber belongs to either the Sphecidae or Crabronidae families and mud daubers get their names, including 'potter wasp' and 'dirt digger', thanks to their habit of building their nests out of mud.

There are different mud dauber wasps, including the black and yellow mud daubers, organ pipe mud daubers, and the metallic-blue mud dauber wasp. Here we will bring you some interesting facts about the mud dauber wasp, as well as plenty of fun facts about a mud dauber wasp. For more, read about the wasp and ground beetle here too!

Mud dauber wasp

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Small colorful spiders

What do they eat?

Parasitoids

Average litter size?

1

How much do they weigh?

N/A

How long are they?

0.5-1 in (1.27-2.54 cm)


How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Shiny black, metallic blue-black, with yellow markings

Skin Type

Hard exoskeleton

What are their main threats?

Birds, reptiles, and mammals

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Open sheds, garages, under eaves, barns, attics, and porch ceilings

Locations

The United States and Australia

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Insecta

Scientific Name

Sceliphron caementarium

Family

Some Sphecidae and some Crabronidae

Genus

Sceliphron

Mud Dauber Wasp Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a mud dauber wasp?

The mud dauber wasp is different from other wasps. One of the main differences in the mud dauber vs. wasp competition is their size and shape. Mud dauber wasps are medium to large-sized, compared to the much smaller wasps. These species are a shiny dark blue or black color, sometimes with a metallic appearance. In a mud dauber wasp's body, a long, slender segment exists between the thorax and abdomen and has transparent wings.

What class of animal does a mud dauber wasp belong to?

Mud dauber wasps are insects that belong to the wasp families of Sphecidae or Crabronidae.

How many mud dauber wasps are there in the world?

The total number of these species in the world is unknown but we do know that there are close to 30 species in the same family.

Where does a mud dauber wasp live?

Mud daubers are independent wasps, and they need no companions to build their mud nest. They build their tube or pipe-shaped nests out of mud in or around buildings, sheds, and ceilings.

What is a mud dauber wasp's habitat?

Mud dauber wasps, as the name suggests, are famous for building their nests out of mud. Female mud dauber wasps create individual nests by constructing small mud nests in or around buildings, sheds, and ceilings. Mud dauber nests often look like an organ tube, and the tubes are about 1 in long. The mud dauber nests build long, thin cylinders out of the mud.

Who do mud dauber wasps live with?

The black mud dauber wasp lives a solitary life. They are different from other flying pests that build colonies or mud nests in your home.

How long does a mud dauber wasp live?

In general, a mud dauber wasp lives for between 12 and 22 days.

How do they reproduce?

They reproduce sexually and a female mud dauber wasp lays only one egg in each nest cell. The nest contains several cells and a paralyzed spider is placed in each cell. They hunt and then paralyze spiders in the nest so that when the egg hatches, the larva can eat the spiders. Mud dauber wasp females lay approximately 15 eggs over their lifetime.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status is Least Concern.

Mud Dauber Wasp Fun Facts

What do mud dauber wasps look like?

The mud dauber wasp builds nests out of mud.

Mud dauber wasps are medium to giant-sized insects. They are a shiny dark blue or black color and sometimes with a metallic appearance. They have a narrow abdomen and transparent wings. This insect has a sting loaded with venom ready to paralyze its prey.

How cute are they?

Its color and appearance make the mud dauber wasp a relatively cute insect. They are harmless unless they are attacked or threatened by someone, in fact, the mud dauber wasp helps as a pest control agent for humans.

How do they communicate?

Mud daubers communicate using their antennae. The antennae are an essential part of their body, without which they cannot smell, hear, and detect the pheromones which a Queen uses to attract a mate.  

How big is a mud dauber wasp?

Mud Daubers are 0.5-1 in (1.27-2.54 cm) long.

How fast can a mud dauber wasp fly?

The mud dauber wasp only flies between May and September. They are not fast flyers.

How much does a mud dauber wasp weigh?

The weight of mud dauber wasps is unknown. However, we do know that they can collect heavier and larger mud balls than their body weight.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males are simply called male wasps and the females are called female wasps. The female wasp's abdomen is larger than the male's because of its role in carrying the eggs.

What would you call a baby mud dauber wasp?

The mud dauber wasp lays only one egg at a time. A baby mud dauber wasp can be called an egg, larva, or pupa, depending upon its life stage.

What do they eat?

Mud dauber insect wasps are omnivores. The mud dauber wasp mainly eats insects, spiders, and sometimes the nectar from flowers.

Are they dangerous?

Yellow and black mud dauber wasps are predators of spiders but are not hugely threatening to humans. They are generally not aggressive or dangerous but can become aggressive when attacked.

Would they make a good pet?

Whilst they cannot seriously harm humans, a sting from a mud dauber wasp can hurt, so no they are not suitable to keep as pets. Despite this, one way the mud dauber wasp is useful to humans is as a pest control agent as they control the populations of other bugs and spiders. For example, this species helps kill the cicadas that destroy garden plants.

Did you know...

Do you know that the female wasp's sting is also its sex organ? The female insect is considered more dangerous than the male counterparts.

The blue mud dauber does not build a nest but takes other mud daubers' nests.

The mud dauber wasp life cycle from egg to adult is one year long.

Mud dauber wasps have excellent eyesight and use landmarks to locate their mud nest.

Males are not involved in mud nest building or guarding. They are busy feeding on the nectar from flowers and waiting to mate.

What to do if you get stung by a mud dauber wasp?

These pests are not aggressive, but what do we do if these insects do sting us? For an immediate blue mud dauber wasp sting treatment, wash the sting area, apply a cold pack and some antiseptic cream.

How to get rid of mud dauber wasps?

Mud daubers are an excellent species and, until we threaten them, they do not attack us. However, the buzzing sound can sometimes be annoying, and a mud dauber wasp nest is a nuisance if built near human houses. To get rid of the mud dauber wasp nest and mud dauber wasp larvae, we can spray the nest with wasp freeze, and use a paint scraper to scrap the nest away from the area.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other insects including the water beetle, or atlas beetle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Mud Dauber Wasp coloring pages.

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