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Mud dauber

Sceliphron sp.


"Each pot takes a few hours to complete. When it's finished, the wasp lays a single egg inside, and then proceeds to provision it. She hunts for tiny caterpillars, which she paralyzes and stuffs into the pot until there's no room for any more. She then seals the pot and flies off to make another. The larva hatches in a few weeks, consumes the caterpillars, and makes itself a cocoon in which it overwinters. When the weather is warm enough, the insect eats its way out of the pot and goes on to live the short life of an adult potter wasp. Now, this is very interesting indeed. No wasp is taught to make these pots, nor are the larva taught to make their cocoons, nor to eat their way out of their first homes to out into the world to perpetuate the cycle. This is clearly genetically driven behavior, and complex behavior at that. And these wasps aren't automatons. They apparently leave a distinctive signature on their pots, some building all slanted pots, some all upright, and so on. And they spend time choosing the spot of the quarry from which they'll construct their pots, assessing the soil and deciding where it's just right, and then choosing where to locate their pots. And, if they've laid an egg and then the weather turns, or the temperature drops, or they can't find caterpillars and the egg dies, they recognize this and don't then fill the pot with food." (From http://ecodevoevo.blogspot.com/2010/11/p...)


This particular 'pot' was found empty in a tissue in my veranda and the third photo shows the embossed relief from the fabric. It is 2cm long.

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Spotted by

Αττική, Greece

Lat: 38.01, Long: 23.82

Spotted on Aug 20, 2018
Submitted on Aug 24, 2018

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