June 26, 2012
Location: Mt Washington, Los Angeles, CA
We spent much of Monday working in the garden, trying to get some summer crops planted, albeit on the late side. Squash is a summer favorite, so we spaded a small patch and removed all the weeds. We then planted squash and eggplant seeds brought from Italy by Luca. Then we gave the ground a good soaking. Needless to say, the Black and Yellow Mud Daubers, Sceliphron caementarium, began to gather mud. These nonaggressive solitary wasps frequent the carrot blossoms and onion blossoms in the vegetable patch and there are plenty of spiders for them to hunt. The female Mud Dauber builds a nest of mud containing multiple chambers, each to house a single wasp larva. The female Mud Dauber hunts for spiders which she stings and paralyzes, ensuring that the developing larva will have a fresh supply of meat. The adult wasps feed on nectar. See BugGuide for additional information on Mud Daubers.