Mud Wasp

mudwasp1Various species
Family: Vespidae and Sphecidae
Order:
Hymenoptera

Identification:

Many different species of varying sizes and colours, commonly either all black, or black with orange or yellow bands or markings. Nest made of mud or 'clay'. The slender Mud Dauber and some others are often wrongly called 'hornets'.

Distribution:
Australia-wide including Tasmania, in all terrestrial habitats. Nests are often attached to rock faces or buildings.

Life history:

Mud wasps are solitary in habit - the nest is constructed by only one female wasp. Some species attach nests to rock faces, tree trunks or buildings. Others build inside cavities, such as holes in tree trunks or machinery. Typically, the mother wasp catches a particular kind of insect or spider, stings and paralyses it, carries it back and places it in the nest, lays an egg on it and seals the nest. The wasp grub hatches, consumes the food provided, and pupates. It later breaks out of the nest as an adult, which will feed on nectar and drink water. Sometimes the wasps can be seen gathering mud at the edges of streams or dams.

mudwasp2Pest Status:

Not pests. Female mud wasps are not aggressive and stings rarely happen.

Management:
Ignore them. If a mud nest is considered unsightly it can be knocked off, which is probably best done when the owner of the nest is not around.

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