Covered-cell Mud-dauber Wasp - Sceliphron laetum 


This page contains pictures and information about Covered-cell Mud-dauber Wasps that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Body length 20mm 
We found those mud cells that we believed they are belong to the Mud-dauber Wasp Sceliphron laetum. As in "Insects of Australia",  the single mud nest is attributed to S. formosum and a multiple mud nest with the extra embellishment on top to S. laetum.
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Mud cells of Sceliphron laetum. 
The nest consists of many cells with a finishing cover of extra mud.  
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However, we did not ever confirm seeing one S. laetum yet. 
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This Mud-Dauber wasp looked very similar to the other one. The easiest way to tell them apart is the wasp in this page has the antenna yellow in colour and less yellow markings on the back of thorax. 
Both the Mud-Dauber Wasps and those Vespidae Potter Wasps (Eumeninae) build nests by wet-mud. The Mud-Dauber Wasps mine the wet-mud directly from the edge of waters while the Vespidae Potter Wasps collect water only. The Vespidae Potter Wasps mine the dry mud by wetting them using the collected water. 
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1. Scelephron laetum, Mud Dauber Wasp - Insects of Townsville, Australia, Graeme Cocks, 2004
2. Wildlife of Greater Brisbane - Ryan, Michelle (ed.), Queensland Museum, Brisbane, 1995, p116
3. Wasps of the genus Sceliphron (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae) intercepted in New Zealand - A. C. HARRIS Otago Museum, 1992
4. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p 990.
5. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p301.
6. Sceliphron laetum - Barcode of Life Database.
7. What wasp is that? - An interactive identification guide to the Australasian families of Hymenoptera, 2007.
8. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
9. common mud daubler Sceliphron laetum (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae: Sceliphronini) - Pests and Diseases Image Library, PaDIL.
10. Mud-dauber wasp placing spider in nest - Australian Museum, 2009. 

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Last updated: June 27, 2012.