Mud Dauber verses Spider

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!!

I thought since Halloween makes you think of the creepy and spooky, that I would try to share a little creepy post for today.  So, for today’s post I am pulling something out of my personal photo archives (i.e. pre-blogging days).  The photos and video that you will see below were captured October 4th of 2008.

Many people are not aware of the way in which the mud dauber feeds it’s young.  And in my opinion it is rather creepy.  Mud daubers like to prey upon spiders.  The blue mud dauber prefers to prey upon the poisonous black widow spider (as I have mentioned previously on this blog).  But other mud daubers (like the one below) tend to go for orb weaving spiders, or other spiders.  Some people know that mud daubers use spiders to feed their young.  But many people aren’t aware of how they do this.  And therein lies the creepy part of this post.  The adult mud daubers do not kill the spider.  They catch the spider, sting it, causing paralysis.  And then they stuff the paralyzed spider into their nests and lay their larvae on the still living spider.  They cap their nest and the spider is eaten – while alive – by the mud dauber larva.  (I told you it was creepy.)

Last year, while standing at my kitchen sink washing dishes I noticed a battle going on under the eave of our house outside my window.  A spider had made a tight little home for himself and was hiding in it.  A wasp came and landed outside of the spider’s tunnel and started to attempt to pull the spider out.  The battle that followed was very creepy to watch and went on for quite some time.  The spider put up quite a fight.  Sometimes trying to hide, other times trying to come out and fight.  The mud dauber was hampered a great deal in his efforts by the spiders webbing, that he was staying underneath.

I will post the photos here first, but it really is worth taking the time to watch the video clips.  It’s really something how very hard this mud dauber works trying to get this spider.  The video clips are fairly short but the whole thing went on for quite some time.   The spider would sometimes bite the mud dauber and the mud dauber would jump back visibly shaken, then go at the spider again.  Sometimes it looked as if the spider would win.  Other times it looked as if the mud dauber would win.  I won’t spoil the ending just yet ….

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Now for the video clips:
(They are all short and listed in the order they occurred.  But if you don’t have a lot of time, clip 3 is probably the best of the bunch.)

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Yes, that is my little girl you hear humming in the background.
It’s never quiet in a house with three little kids. (I was filming from inside, through the window.)

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So…  What do you think?  Who do you think won the battle?  The spider or the mud dauber?

Leave me a comment below with your guess if you like.
And I will post who the winner was, the mud dauber or the spider, on tomorrow’s blog post (November 1st).

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!!

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One thought on “Mud Dauber verses Spider”

  1. Yuck….I knew there were many reasons I don’t like mud daubers, but didn’t know they did this. I’m guessing the wasp won.

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