I find it so interesting the way different insects (animals in general) use different materials to build their homes, or in this case the home for their young.
I was preparing the spare bedroom which hadn’t been used for a while and found this outside the window but inside the shutters.
I recognised immediately what it was; but this was the first one in a reachable position that I could investigate.
The nest is constructed of mud and stocked with spiders for its young to eat as they emerge from the chrysalis. Several cells are connected alongside each other, sharing the mud walls, but they are individual, sealed tube. Each cell will contain one egg and be provided with food for the larvae when it hatches. The food is in the form of small spiders with between 6 and 14 per cell. These are mostly small crab or jumping spiders.
The spiders don’t seem to be dead, but paralysed by the adult’s sting so that they remain fresh for the emerging larvae.
This is the insect in question: the thread-waisted Wasp, Sceliphron spirifex. I can’t imagine how many trips it must take to construct the nest; sometimes they are huge!