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Pipe Organ Mud Dauber (Trypoxylon politum)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Pipe Organ Mud Dauber



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Image Credit: Leann T.S. from Lewisberry, PA
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Long tunnels molded from mud are the hallmark nurseries of the Pipe Organ Mud Dauber.



Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Mud Daubers characteristically create nests from mud. This particular species shapes the mud into long tubes nestled closely together, reminiscent of pipe organs. Any vertical surface can serve as a foundation for a nest, so it is not uncommon to see them on siding, brick, and wooden walls. Females forage for spiders and bring them back alive, but paralyzed. Each cell is stuffed with the spiders, which serve as food for a wasp larva once it hatches. The male wasp guards the nest while the female is hunting. This is a non-aggressive species of wasp that prefers to quietly go about its business. Approaching the nest for a better look at the handiwork can elicit a buzzing from the male. Disturbing the nest and bothering the wasps can induce them to sting.

The glossy black wasp has black wings that appear metallic blue in certain light. The legs are black except for the hind pair, which has a yellow or orange lower leg and a black 'foot'. The waist is constricted and narrow, but the abdomen is long and enlarges by the tip. Adults are most active from spring through early autumn.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Cabronidae
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          Genus: Trypoxylon
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            Species: politum
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Trypoxylon politum
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 25mm (0.39" to 0.98")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow; blue; orange
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 25mm (1.0in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 17.5mm
Hi: 25mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
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State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
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State of Washington graphic
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Pipe Organ Mud Dauber may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Pipe Organ Mud Dauber. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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