WaspsAustralian Large Wasps Australian Mud Nest Wasps Mud Wasp Abispa ephippium Aulacidae Australodynerus Bembicinae Bembix Blue Hairy Flower Wasp Chrysididae Cryptocheilus bicolor (Orange Spider Wasp) Delta latreillei (Potter Wasp) Eumeninae Ferreola handschini (Orange-collared Spider Wasp) Flower Wasps Gasteruptiid Wasp Hairy Flower Wasps Isodontia (Grass-carrying Wasp) Lissopimpla excelsa (Orchid Dupe Wasp) Mutillidae Paralastor sp. Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Radumeris radula (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Radumeris tasmaniensis (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Sceliphron laetum Thynnid Wasps Tiphiidae Yellow and Black Wasp

The Mud Wasp (Abispa ephippium), also known as the Large Mud-nest Wasp, is a striking orange and black wasp that is similar and sometimes mistaken for the Orange-tailed Potter Wasp (Delta latreillei).

Abispa ephippium is a robust looking orange wasp, with a wide black band on the abdomen, a large central black patch (on the mesoescutum) between the forewings, with black-tipped wings.

Mud Wasp (Abispa ephippium), Alice Springs, NT
Mud Wasp (Abispa ephippium), Alice Springs, NT

Like many of these genus, the Abispa ephippium are solitary wasps who build mud pot-shaped nests, often in sheltered area. The mud nest is made up of a number of cell chambers, which the Mud Wasp fills with captured and paralysed caterpillars to feed the egg larvae that is laid in each cell chamber. Once the larva consumes all the food, they pupate and after a period of time they emerge as the adult.

Mud Wasp (Abispa ephippium), Alice Springs, NT
Mud Wasp (Abispa ephippium), Alice Springs, NT

Following are two Abispa ephippium Mud Wasps mating. The male (on top) have the characteristic yellow frons and clypeus, whilst in the female it is orange (similar to the body colour).

Male Abispa ephippium (Mud-nest Wasp), Alice Springs NT
Male Abispa ephippium (Mud-nest Wasp), Alice Springs NT

You can read more on the mud nest and the different potter wasps here:

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  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Family: Vespidae
  • Genus: Abispa
  • Species: Abispa ephippium
Mud Dauber/Orange Potter Wasp (Abispa ephippium), Alice Springs, NT
Mud Wasps (Abispa ephippium), Alice Springs, NT

Footnote & References

  1. Robert W. Matthews, Janice R. Matthews, “Nesting Behavior of Abispa ephippium (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Eumeninae): Extended Parental Care in an Australian Mason Wasp”, Psyche: A Journal of Entomology, vol. 2009, Article ID 851694, 15 pages, 2009. https://doi.org/10.1155/2009/851694

WaspsAustralian Large Wasps Australian Mud Nest Wasps Mud Wasp Abispa ephippium Aulacidae Australodynerus Bembicinae Bembix Blue Hairy Flower Wasp Chrysididae Cryptocheilus bicolor (Orange Spider Wasp) Delta latreillei (Potter Wasp) Eumeninae Ferreola handschini (Orange-collared Spider Wasp) Flower Wasps Gasteruptiid Wasp Hairy Flower Wasps Isodontia (Grass-carrying Wasp) Lissopimpla excelsa (Orchid Dupe Wasp) Mutillidae Paralastor sp. Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Radumeris radula (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Radumeris tasmaniensis (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Sceliphron laetum Thynnid Wasps Tiphiidae Yellow and Black Wasp

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