Black and Yellow Mud Dauber & a Velvet Ant  (five photos)
 Thread-waisted Wasp
Sceliphron caementarium

mud dauber
This Mud Dauber was on a sunflower plant on Antelope Island, along with lots of other wasps
and insects.  They were swarming all over the thing.  © Carol Davis, 8-20-2010

velvet ant and mud dauber
This particular Mud Dauber could not and would not leave this Velvet Ant alone.  I don't know
if it liked it or if it wanted it to leave.  
© Carol Davis, 8-20-2010

beautiful mud dauber
Well, it wasn't leaving but the wasp didn't give up.  Even the little fly was trying to figure out what was going
on with these two. 
© Carol Davis, 8-20-2010

I'm pretty sure it was sizing up this Velvet Ant (also of the wasp family) to see if it could be
worn as a fluffy orange boa.
  © Carol Davis, 8-20-2010

dauber in the mud
Well, I left before the wasp stopped harassing the Velvet Ant.  One thing I've noticed about Mud
Daubers in general is that they tend to avoid conflict with other flying wasps but for some reason,
maybe because this VA was has no wings, it was just someone to pick on or drive from a
  prime feeding area.  © Carol Davis, 8-20-2010

I recently went into a biffy on a bird refuge that was filled with mud dauber nests on the inside and
outside.  When I entered the building I was approached quickly by one female mud dauber and
after I just stood there without screaming and flailing, which is my normal behavior, she left me
alone. Now that I know they're not aggressive (in most cases) I'm not as afraid of them.  They
used to scare me senseless but I always thought they were the most regal of all wasps.

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