|Potter Wasp and Mud Pot Nest - Euodynerus sp.|
Superfamily Vespoidea -- vespoid wasps / Family Vespidae - hornets, paper and potter wasps, yellowjackets. Live adult wasps photographed in the wild at Winfield, Illinois. Size: 13mm
Insects & Spiders | Bees & Wasps Index | Bees & Wasps Main | Stinging Hymenoptera
|The Potter wasp constructs nests of mud, or nest in burrows, cavities in twigs, or the abandoned nests of other wasps. Adult potter wasps are commonly seen on the ground in open areas or at flowers. |
Potter wasps are named for the nests they construct out of mud and water, and these can have one to multiple individual cells. When a cell is completed, the adult wasp typically collects beetle larvae, spiders or caterpillars and, paralyzing them, places them in the cell to serve as food for a single wasp larva. In a few species, the adult wasp lays a single egg in the opening of the cell, suspended from a thread of dried fluid. When the wasp larva hatches, it drops and immediately feeds upon the larvae, and later breaks out of the nest to begin its adult life. Adult potter wasps feed on plant nectar.
This female potter wasp has captured and paralyzed a larva with which to provision her mud pot egg chamber (below).
The egg will hatch and the wasp larva will feed upon the still-living host.
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Hymenoptera (Latin for membrane wing) is a vast assemblage of insects second only to Coleoptera (beetles) in the number of described species. Hymenoptera number some 115,000 species vs. 350,000 in Coleoptera. 18,000 of these species call North America north of Mexico home. Hymenopterans inhabit a wide variety of habitats, and show an incredible diversity in size, behavior, structure and color.
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