‘Mud Dauber’ wasp cocoons…


Friday 26 June, 2015 by Uncle Spike


Well who’d’ve guessed? Those ‘wasps nest’, Jabba-the-Hutt looking things are indeed tiny clay wasp cocoons! “The wasps fill their cocoons with spiders as food for the larvae and do not kill them [but] paralyse them. Sometimes an empty wasp’s cocoon will be used by a female spider to lay her eggs in, having poached a used cocoon” [updated following validated advice from reader ‘Fey Fille‘ – thank you!]. At this time of year they are all long uninhabited.




I found these just like this, in a neat row on a shelf in the garage behind an old metal tray. Usually we come across them in the gaps between windows and doors – somewhere tight enough and quiet enough to ensure the wasps can hatch in relative peace and safety.




Stored within the cocoons are some 10-20 of spiders – having cracked open some in the past. Of course this one pictured below is a daddy; stretching perhaps 8cm (3″), but when they escape the cocoon, they are tiny, and fast! One of them opens the door, and they all stampede out in different directions.




They are harmless by the way, and prefer the balcony ceiling corners rather than indoors – their job is to catch other bugs, so I tend to leave them to their work. These next shots show the mess left behind in their enslavement bedroom. 






As for guessing, well two correct responders were New Bloggy Cat and Joanne, with MI CASITA, MI RANCHITO next closest with “Some kind of cocoon”, so well done 😀

However we also had some great suggestions too:

Some sort of clay oven covered in rust

Parts of tree root emerging through wall & ground

Zoo habitat

Ant nest

A beetle – to be

Praying mantis nest

Archeological artefact

A root or bulb maybe iris

Sea slugs

Cooking Fat!!

Some insects, bugs chrysalis

Something the boy brought home from art class (clay making)

Termite nest

Something made from sand? Created by a creature that lives under the sand on the beach

Eww ??? Afraid to say what it looks like to me…

Man and I only thought that Jabba the Hut was fictional


But the award for best thought out idea goes to Ninna:

It’s poop I think. To be more specific I think it is some kind of snails that constantly stuff themselves with clay, then their bodies takes up the nutritional stuff and the rest of it comes out like that.

14 thoughts on “‘Mud Dauber’ wasp cocoons…

  1. Fey Fille says:

    spiders do not make clay cocoons. Wasps fill their cocoons with spiders as food for the larvae and do not kill them they paralyse them, but sometimes an empty wasps cocoon will be used by a female spider to lay her eggs in, but she has poached a used cocoon Not made it herself!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fredrieka says:

    Yikes that is creepy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eight years old. Lying on my side on the basement couch watching TV. When what to my wondering eyeball does appear over the side of the couch, but one of these things. From my perspective, it was as big as Godzilla in one of those old time horror movies. And That is the reason spiders give me the heebie- jeebies.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. wow! Love their bedroom. Makes me wonder if the mother filled it full of food. How interesting .. thanks Spike!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh, that’s am amazing – I had no idea that spiders would do that – I always thought their cocoons/nests were soft and in corners of rooms.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. dayphoto says:

    This was verrrrry interesting…the spider looks sorta like our GrandDaddy Long-legs spider.

    The guesses are the best part. I have a huge smile!


    Liked by 2 people

  7. NinnaO says:

    Thank you, Uncle Spike! I seem to have got my imagination back…. maybe…

    Liked by 1 person

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