What’s That Nest from Australia???

Subject: No bug photo but whose nest is this?
Location: Hawkesbury Region, NSW, Australia
March 9, 2013 4:05 pm
Found this little work of art in our driveway but have no idea what made it. It is the entrance to an underground nest/burrow, the actual hole in the ground looks similar to an ants nest with a small hole around 5-10mm in the ground. The walls of the outer funnel-shaped entrance seem to be made of little balls of sand or mud, obviously from the dirt out of the hole. The structure stands about 3cm tall and the top of the entrance funnel would be approx 2cm across. Something was seen flying out of it then back in but we weren’t close enough to see what it really was, perhaps a wasp? Didn’t see anything else in terms of bugs and unfortunately the structure has since been destroyed (they picked a bad place to build this!)
Very interested to know what might make this tiny work of art.
I am in Hawkesbury region of Sydney, Australia.
Signature: Tracy

Unknown Mud Nest
Unknown Mud Nest

Dear Tracy,
We apologize for the delay, but responding to you has been on the back burner since we first opened your file and inspected the image.  We agree that the most likely builder is a wasp though our initial thought was perhaps a crayfish burrow.  Since you saw the tenant flying in and out, we would discount the crayfish possibility.  We can’t imagine why a wasp would need a chimney structure like this, except perhaps to help in the location of the nest.  Perhaps one of our readers will have a thought on this matter.

5 thoughts on “What’s That Nest from Australia???”

  1. Hi guys,
    I’ve seen these type of structures around my place and I am fairly sure they are spider hunter wasps and that later they use the material to seal the burrow but I’m not 100% on that. Next time I spot one I’ll try and get some photos for you, perhaps try for a sequence.

  2. I just did a search and found your post of the Spider Hunter Wasp from Jan 2011. Nice pic 🙂
    We live in a rural area and have HEAPS of these around all the time so it is almost certainly what it is. Though I often see them dragging a poor huntsman away, I realise that I have never actually seen where they were taking them.

    • Though we have several photos in our archives of Spider Wasps with Huntsman Spider prey from Australia in our archives, it would be really great to see one arriving at the nest to verify if that identification is correct.


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