Ever Wonder……..What’s the Purpose of Mud Daubers?

Mud Dauber Nest,  Photo by B.LaVergne, July 2013
Mud Dauber Nest, Photo by B.LaVergne, July 2013
Black Widow Spider on Leaves, Photo by D.Konarik, July 2013
Black Widow Spider on Leaves, Photo by D.Konarik, July 2013

Common Name: Mud daubers
Scientific Name:  Chalybion, Sceliphron and other genera
Order:  Hymenoptera: Sphecidae

Mud daubers (or “dirt daubers”) can really make a mess of your porches, using the red clay mud from area ponds & creek beds for their nests.   Dauber nests are made of mud into cylindrical shaped cells.   These cells are filled with various types of prey, largely consisting of spiders; and in our area, the daubers like black & brown widow spiders.   David Konarik has provided us a couple of pictures of the dangerous Black Widow Spider.   The spider is caught & injected with venom from the wasp paralyzing it, yet not killing the spider.   After being paralyzed, the wasp or dauber deposits the spider(s) into a cell of its nest along with at least one egg.   The dauber will close the cell never to return to that particular cell.   As the new wasp larva develops, it feeds on the paralyzed spider(s).   So next time you are pestered by the mud daubers, remember they actually do provide a beneficial service in keeping down the numbers of spiders in our area of Texas.   See if you can catch a Mud Dauber in the act of seizing its prey & paralyzing it!   And if you do, please send us the picture to share here on ORWMA’s website.   We’ve also included a link to some additional information from Texas A&M University Department of Entomology for your reading pleasure.   https://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/cimg334.html


Black Widow Spider, Photo by D.Konarik, July 2013
Black Widow Spider, Photo by D.Konarik, July 2013


July 2013 Newsletter

Howdy, everyone!   Please be sure to attend ORWMA’s Ice Cream Social on July 20th, 6 PM at Lynne Bigelow’s place, 1287 Oakridge Rd.   Bring your favorite homemade ice cream to share (or a topping or dessert).   ORWMA will provide the ice & salt;  we do have some buckets to put the ice cream freezers in, but if you have a bucket please bring it with you.

Our deer spotlighting census is coming up in August, here is the tentative schedule…..

Schedule for 2013 White-tail Deer Census

AUGUST is the month the annual Whitetail Deer Census is taken.  Oakridge Ranch Wildlife Management Association has provided the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Biologist this information since 1999.

Suggested dates

1.   8/10,  8:30 PM

2.   8/17,  7:30 PM

3.   8/24,  8:30 PM

4.   8/31,  8:30 PM

We will need 2 pick-ups each night that will hold 6 lawn type chairs each.  Children are welcome,  groups are welcome.  Reservations needed with Jim Trickett 979 732-2447 or 281 507 7572 cell.  Drop ins welcome and will be fitted in where possible (no guarantee w/o prior reservation – or  just a tall tail or two).  We have spotlights, but bring yours if you would like.

ORWMA submits census data to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Local Biologist in addition to the Observation Composition information.

Please fill out the herd composition form and turn it in to either Jim Trickett or me by the end of August 2013.   This info is submitted to TPWD and helps to determine our herd composition.  These herd composition forms are being mailed to you, but you may find them also on this site on the Deer tab.

September 21st, 10:AM is our Annual Fall Whitetail Deer Meeting held at Cecil Stevenson’s barn.  This is the meeting where we issue doe permits and get a few words of wisdom from our wildlife biologist, Mark Lange, about our herd composition.

Vernon Wallace is working on our Wounded Warrior Vet Hunt for this year.   It will either be the first or second weekend in December.   We’re planning on 20 vets again and will provide more details as they become available.

Come on out & join the fun!

David Mitchem, Board Chairman, White-tail Deer Group, 979-484-9240