Mud Dauber Wasp

Sceliphron laetum

Identification: Length to 28 mm. Elongated body; mostly black with yellow patches; base and tip of abdomen yellow; long thread-like waist.

Habitat and Range: Open habitats with standing water. Widespread across mainland Australia. Also New Guinea and nearby islands.

Notes: Builds mud nests in sheltered situations, caves, overhangs, inside buildings. Individual cells are flask-shaped and placed in rows. Nests consist of up to three tiers of cells covered with extra layers of mud. Cells are filled with many spiders as food for the larvae. One larva develops in each cell. The adult wasp emits a high-pitched buzz while manipulating mud at the nest.

Similar Species: Sceliphron formosum — nest has only one layer of cells and is not covered with extra mud; coastal NT, Qld and NSW.

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