Sunday, September 03, 2006

Work of Art

Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Tubes Posted by Picasa

A feeder that I had been ignoring for some time, I discovered, had been put to good use. Several Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Wasps found this empty shelter to be the perfect spot to tediously build their nest tubes that are shaped, well like the pipes of an organ, hence the name. These docile steel blue colored wasps are not aggressive like your average paper wasp, meaning they can be observed closely without fear of being attacked. Only by grabbing them can one risk being stung.

These "tubes", built by the female, are works of art. Delicate care is taken as row after row of moist soil is placed one after another resulting in the finished product. Sections of each tube are walled off on the inside creating cells. In each of these cells is placed an egg along with sustenance in the form of paralyzed spiders to feed the developing larva. Once fully grown they will gnaw there way out of the cell freeing themselves to repeat the cycle.

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