Mud Daubers/Mud Wasps... More than meets the eye.

Toxoderidae

Arachnoprince
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,010
So a few of you might know, I really messed up my knee a month or so ago on a hiking trip, that was utter torture and knocked me out of fencing for a couple weeks. Decided to tell the story in full, and shows that Mud Daubers/wasps are worse than hornets in aggression.

We went hiking on this godforsaken trail called Panther Creek, full with raging waterfalls, literal cliffs you had to climb the trail was so dilapidated, (I was holding a flashlight in my mouth, and climbing with my limbs, then helping my mother climb up) and cliff faces that you walked along with so much erosion that the "rails" were falling off onto the metres below to your death. I slipped once and rolled my ankle! (yay)

As we were hiking, a thunderstorm broke out. we were wading in water that went up to our ankles, and shins in some points, still dealing with this bloody trail. I jokingly said to my mother we were on a worldwide travel, with us being in Brazil and Panama during the rainstorm, that we were in a tropical rainforest! (even grabbing a tropical flower and eating it during my presentation, as Georgia is subtropical.) Then, I said we were in Chile on those cliffs with the railings falling. Near the start of the trail, we saw two teenage *looking* girls screaming and crying, crying about these "angry bees" I saw mud dauber nests, and thought nothing of it. We saw hawk wasps and large bald faced hornets, but again, thought nothing of it.

Finally, we got to this "grand waterfall" the highpoint of the trail. We had been hiking for 3 hours, and I was about ready to kill someone. It was around 4 o'clock, and we (after taking obvious tourist pictures) began our trek back. Here, it went smoothly, going back where we came. Then we found a spot where the trail was literally nothing but a couple cliffs you had to climb down.

Here, and bunch of mud dauber nests were around, and it was around 7 o'clock, getting near dusk. All these little yellow wasps were hanging out, (no larger than a honeybee) just doing their thing. My mother climbs down without ease. I'm shirtless right now after being drenched in rain, and swimming around the waterfall. I walk right where my mother walked, and some 20 or so "harmless" mud dauber wasps spring into action without warning, all stinging me at once (I feel the pain on my back whilst typing this, lol!) One of the worst pains I've ever felt, all concentrated in two or three spots, with them all stinging multiple times. I throw our backpack at my mother, who is 3 - 4 metres below me. I then, screaming and slapping my back, jump off this cliff. I knock my back out, and sprain my left knee. Adrenaline is the only thing keeping me going at this point, and its doing a good job at it. I'm yelling now, just pissed to be pissed, and begin to walk home.

These "calm" mud wasps were more aggressive than a hornet, and I wish I had gotten it on film. I'm not sure why the were so aggressive towards me, as I didn't get near their nests, and was calm the entire time. The venom of this species was far worse than any other wasp I had been stung by, and was one of the worst pains I had ever felt. Very peculiar occurrence.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,311
That is just plain weird. A good warning for us here. We are up to our eyeballs in mud daubers. Never had any encounters so far. In fact one made a nice glop under my bike seat recently and I've been ignoring it.
Wondering what in heck got them so excited. Perfectly wrong odor? Wrong time of year? Wrong time of day?
Our local entomologist told me that the toxin in the sting of wasps is genetically designed to be specifically irritating to warm blooded mammals. ??? there.
 

Ranitomeya

Arachnoknight
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
250
Some of the worst wasp stings I know of come from species that aren't known to sting unless grabbed. I once made the mistake of capturing some Agapostemon with my bare hands and discovered that although they aren't aggressive, they will not hesitate to sting to defend themselves when grabbed. They were quite painful for tiny bees.

If parasitoids like Tarantula Hawks, Velvet Ants, and Mud Daubers suddenly decide to become unusually aggressive like the ones that went after you, I would not hesitate to go to extremes as you did in order to escape them. They have venom designed to quickly incapacitate their prey by overwhelming their nervous systems.
 
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