Organ pipe mud dauber
|Organ-pipe mud dauber|
|New organ pipe wasp nest showing different muds gathered at different places|
The organ pipe mud dauber (Trypoxylon politum) is a type of wasp in the family Crabronidae. They are fairly large wasps, shiny black with pale hind tarsi. Male organ pipe mud daubers are among the few male wasps of any species to stay at the nest. A male "stands guard" (to prevent theft of prey or nest materials, as well as to ward off parasites) while a female is away collecting spiders. Mating typically occurs on her visits to the nest. They typically build their nests in sheltered locations, and large aggregations may form with dozens to hundreds of nests in a small area.
Organ pipe mud daubers are also an exceedingly docile species of wasp, and generally pleasant to have around, as they serve to keep spider populations down. Stings to humans are very rare, bordering on non-existent. However, if squeezed, Organ pipe mud daubers will sting in self-defense. There are a great many other species in the genus Trypoxylon (over 700 worldwide), mostly smaller in size and less abundant.
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Trypoxylon figulus. A Palearctic species.
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