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For the United States & Canada
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Species Trypoxylon politum - Pipe organ mud dauber

Mud Dauber - Trypoxylon politum Mud dobber? - Trypoxylon politum Pipe Organ Mud Daubers building nest - Trypoxylon politum - male - female Twist winged mud dauber - Trypoxylon politum Multi generation pipe organ nest - Trypoxylon politum Trypoxylon politum? - Trypoxylon politum Pipe Organ Mud Daubers - Trypoxylon politum Pipe organ mud dauber hatching - Trypoxylon politum - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon (Apoid Wasps (Apoidea)- traditional Sphecidae)
Family Crabronidae
Subfamily Crabroninae (Square-headed Wasps)
Tribe Trypoxylini
Genus Trypoxylon
No Taxon (Subgenus Trypargilum)
Species politum (Pipe organ mud dauber)
Length circa 24 mm
Shining black with some white pubescence, hind tarsi partly white. Largest species in the genus.

Forewing of this group (tribe Trypoxylini) has one submarginal cell, and the marginal cell is pointed apically. Likewise, in this tribe, abdomen is narrow, but enlarged apically (i.e., not much of a wasp waist), and longer than head and thorax.
Eastern North America: Massachusetts south to Florida, west to Kansas, Texas.
Spring and summer. March-September (North Carolina).
Life Cycle
Builds characteristic "pipe organ" nests on walls, etc. Provisions with 3-18 spiders per cell. Males may stand guard at nest during its construction and while females forage. Males emit a loud buzzing sound when nest is approached or disturbed.
Reported to be non-aggressive unless molested.
Print References
Arnett, p. 597--description, gives size as 14 mm, but this is likely a typographic error for 24 mm. (1)
Salsbury, p. 285--photo (2)
Borror and White, pp. 350-351, illustration of wing venation for this subfamily (3)
Lutz, 3rd edition, p. 420 (4)
Swan and Papp, p. 563, fig. 1222--nest (5)
O'Neill, p. 174, fig. 6-5C, nest (6)
Brimley, p. 443 (7)
Internet References
Hilton Pond--good photos of nests, grubs
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Insects in Kansas
Glenn A. Salsbury and Stephan C. White. 2000. Kansas Dept. of Agriculture.
3.A Field Guide to Insects
Richard E. White, Donald J. Borror, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.
4.Field Book of Insects of the United States and Canada, Aiming to Answer Common Questions,
Frank Eugene Lutz. 1935. Putnam Pub Group.
5.The Common Insects of North America
Lester A. Swan, Charles S. Papp. 1972. Harper & Row.
6.Solitary Wasps: Behavior and Natural History (Cornell Series in Arthropod Biology)
Kevin M. O'Neill. 2000. Comstock Publishing.
7.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.