Subject: what is going on with these wasps
Location: near houston
April 28, 2017 9:56 am
very odd. 4 wasps on top of each other. At first ii thought it was a multiple mating, but It appears that the bugs on top are dead. What is going here? what sort of wasp is this? is this normal? i’ve never seen this before.
Signature: jay in texas
We wish you had been able to provide better quality images. While there is enough detail to determine that these are Black and Yellow Mud Daubers, Sceliphron caementarium, and it appears they are “attached” to one another at the head like each was biting another at the “neck”, we cannot fathom what is going on or what happened. It is interesting that you observed the the ones on top are dead. Does that mean the ones on the bottom were alive? It also appears that they are on a collapsible hose, which makes sense since Mud Daubers are often found near puddles that occur when watering or near swimming pools. You may verify our identification by comparing your individuals to this BugGuide image. Mud Daubers are solitary Wasps, and each female makes and provisions her own nest, so this “group activity” is quite puzzling. We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he can provide a hypothesis on what is happening.
Eric Eaton Confirms
….Three males competing for a female (bottom-most individual). The neck-grabbing is typical male mate-guarding behavior, or attempt to mate.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America