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Monthly Science: Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Emergence

An industrious pair of Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Wasps assembled their nest last August:

Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Wasp Nest - side view
Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Wasp Nest – side view

Their offspring began emerging in early July, with our first picture on 3 July. I’ll leave the image file dates in place so you can reach your own conclusions:

IMG_20190703_184657 - Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest - right
IMG_20190703_184657 – Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest – right

We think a titmouse (a known predator) pecked some holes, including the upper hole on the middle tube, as they seemed to expose solid (and presumably inedible) chitin from the outside:

IMG_20190703_184647 - Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest - left
IMG_20190703_184647 – Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest – left

More holes appeared in a few days:

IMG_20190709_172632 - Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest - right
IMG_20190709_172632 – Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest – right

The irregular spacing along each tube suggests they don’t emerge in the reverse order of installation:

IMG_20190709_172623 - Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest - left
IMG_20190709_172623 – Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest – left

Three days later:

IMG_20190712_181634 - Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest - right
IMG_20190712_181634 – Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest – right
IMG_20190712_181625 - Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest - left
IMG_20190712_181625 – Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest – left

Two weeks after the first holes appeared:

IMG_20190717_172908 - Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest - right
IMG_20190717_172908 – Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest – right
IMG_20190717_172922 - Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest - left
IMG_20190717_172922 – Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Nest – left

No more holes have appeared since then, so it seems one young wasp emerges every few days.

This nest produced about a dozen wasps, with perhaps as many launch failures. We’ll (try to) remove it and examine the contents in a few months.

We expect they’ll start build nests all over the house in another month …

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  1. #1 by Keith Ward on 2019-08-01 - 17:30

    Mud daubers were always fascinating to me. Fortunately they are also the least likely of bees to sting as well. Red wasps on the other hand …

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