Subject: What kind of bee/wasp is it and how dangerous is it?
Location: Encinitas, CA
August 11, 2014 10:10 am
I found this guy while working out in California in Encinitas. It flew by me and landed on this section of the wall. I tried not to get too close to it as it looks rather ferocious.
This beautiful wasp is a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber, Sceliphron caementarium, a solitary species that builds mud nests provisioned with paralyzed spiders to feed the larval wasps. According to BugGuide: “Nests may comprise up to 25 cylindrical cells, with typically 6-15 (up to 40) prey spiders per cell. The female may provide the cells with a temporary closure (a thin mud curtain) to keep out parasites while she is collecting prey. Once the cell is stocked, she lays an egg on one of the last prey and seals the cell with a thick mud plug. She may then add more mud to cover the entire cluster of cells.” You can compare your image to this better focused image on BugGuide. Mud Daubers are not aggressive wasps, though they may sting if carelessly handled.