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Subfamily Eumeninae? - Sceliphron curvatum - female

Subfamily Eumeninae? - Sceliphron curvatum - Female
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
July 7, 2013
Size: Nest are 25 mm.
The wasp built four nests, but in my doorframe! The female made a pretty loud sound while laying and working the watery silt used for the nest.

Some 'pots' were pressed and cracked when I shut the door… Anyway, there was lots of spiders in the first broken pot: mostly Salticus scenicus and Sitticus fasciger but some other species as well. Only spiders. No other prey.

So it is a spider-wasp and potter-wasp. And though the pictures are not great we can see it has a petiolate abdomen. I can't ID this… Who could help?

Images of this individual: tag all
Subfamily Eumeninae? - Sceliphron curvatum - female Subfamily Eumeninae? - Sceliphron curvatum - female


Moved from Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps.
Thanks for the link to your article. I added it to the new guide page.

Moved from ID Request.
Definitely not Sceliphron.

Sceliphron curvatum
"Definitely not Sceliphron"? Why!? If I may link to some more photos and some narrated info:

I meant "definitely not Sceliphron caementarium." You seem to be right on track with your suggestion of S. curvatum. I don't know if there are any prior records of it in North America, but I certainly am not aware of any native species that looks like this and makes nests like this that are provisioned with spiders. I couldn't see the narrow (sphecid) waist in your photos (though I now see you mentioned this in your description. I guess I was seeing the petiole as a leg), so I was thinking maybe something vespid, but your original suggestion of Eumeninae didn't make sense to me either because eumenines provision with caterpillars rather than with spiders.

Sceliphron curvatum
That was the cause of my initial confusion: it looked like a Vespid but had a petiole and went after spiders, etc. And I am still wondering about this: did anybody else notice that new exotic species in North America? I am confident that it is either this species (Sceliphron curvatum) or Sceliphron deforme (syn.?) according to authors. Note that it is present since 2008 in Argentina. Unfortunately I have not caught any adults yet but will try to raise the larvaes still in the "pots" left in my home...

New record for North America?
I've mentioned your photos here, which will bring it to the attention of others. If you can catch an adult, or raise some, and get specimens to someone at the Canadian National Collection, that would be great. Yours are certainly the first examples of this species on BugGuide, and my quick internet search didn't reveal any other North American records.

Sceliphron curvatum
I had done a good research on the web and could not find anything for N.A. Then I posted on my blog. An additional note: from another part of Montreal a friend sent me pictures of the very same nests in his curtains... the wasp is perhaps already well present around here. Some more have nested right in my office... They are noisy! Yes I will try to get or raise specimens and deposit them at some collection. Thanks.

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber
Congratulations! You are the proud neighbor of one of the most helpful and non-aggressive wasps in existence! The black-and-yellow mud dauber will not sting you unless you grab it and handle it roughly, nor will it damage your home in any way. The mud pots hold paralyzed (and still alive, horribly enough) spiders to be eaten by the baby wasps (larvae).

I was dismayed to see that you had broken open one of the pots. I hope you have left the others alone. If you have opened them all, so be it. But try to have some mercy and put the spiders out of their misery in that case. Otherwise, they will simply starve to death, unable to move a hair to help themselves.

The wasp is solitary and does not form colonies. Best of all, she will keep the spider population to a manageable level. (Not that I really have a problem with spiders.)

Hope this helped!

Thanks but I'm not afraid at
Thanks but I'm not afraid at all... some other individual has nested in my kitchen and I let it do its thing. I am familiar with some other species hanging around my balcony each summer (Chalybion californicum and Sceliphron caementarium). But this new one I can't ID... Unless Sceliphron caementarium is more variable that I know, this looks different. If this is the one you mean by "black-and-yellow mud dauber"? And my specimen is a spider specialist.

For your info: I did not break the pot, it felled and crushed on the floor. Might as well document the thing, no?

Sceliphron curvatum?
If anyone can confirm that: I think it is Sceliphron curvatum. An asiatic species that was introduced in Europe and that was recently found in South America. The shape of the nest is specific. See here:

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