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Species Chalybion californicum - Common Blue Mud Wasp

Big Blue - Chalybion californicum Wasp - Chalybion californicum blue wasp - Chalybion californicum Blue Mud Dauber Wasp - Chalybion californicum Black wasp sp? - Chalybion californicum sphecid 3 - Chalybion californicum Pompilid? - Chalybion californicum - female Wasp ~16mm, Chalybion? - Chalybion californicum - male
Classification
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 Sphecidae (Thread-waisted Wasps)
Subfamily Sceliphrinae
Tribe Sceliphrini (Mud-dauber Wasps)
Genus Chalybion (Blue Mud Wasps)
Species californicum (Common Blue Mud Wasp)
Other Common Names
Blue Mud-dauber
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Chalybion californicum (Saussure)
Size
10-23 mm
Identification
A large, active, blue-black wasp with irridescent blue wings. Frequents flowers for nectar and buildings for nest sites. Compare "Steel-Blue Cricket Hunter", (or "Blue Mud Dauber"), Chlorion aerarium, which preys on crickets. This is about the same size as Chalybion, and is said to have a longer pedicel (narrow waist between thorax and abdomen). The body of Chalybion looks much more hairy, and more steely-blue, based on specimen photos.
Range
Widespread in North America(1)
Habitat
Fields with flowers; residential areas
Season
Apr-Oct in NC
Food
Adults take nectar. Larvae feed on spiders.
Life Cycle
Females construct mud nests in sheltered areas, often under the eaves of buildings, and provision them with spiders. Sometimes refurbishes the nests of other mud-daubers, such as Sceliphron.
Print References
(2)
Internet References