|Mud Nest of the Potter Wasp|
The wasp nest picture below was taken on my skidloader's radiator.
With these fascinating wasp pots showing up here and there, it's interesting to know about the potter wasp life cycle...
|Potter Wasp Nest|
The potter wasp pictures below show the jug builders nectaring on small white asters.
|Eumenes fraternus - Potter Wasp|
|A potter wasp - Eumenes fraternus|
and the wasp pot...a potter wasp's pottery masterpiece.
|Wasp Pot.... "thrown" by a potter wasp|
What happens inside that clay pot?
After the female wasp shapes the mud nest, she places some paralyzed caterpillars and an egg inside the jug and then seals the opening. When the egg hatches, the wasp larva consumes the caterpillars. Then it spins a cocoon within the mud cell. In the photo on the left, I have split open the jug to reveal the wasp larva. The larva is protruding slightly from its cocoon.
In the photo on the left, the wasp larva has been removed from its cocoon. The cocoon is pictured between the larva and the two halves of the jug nest. This nest was from the fall generation. The larva will spend the winter in its cocoon awaiting spring when it will pupate ,
Later, the new adult will emerge as a distinctive looking potter wasp that hunts caterpillars, sustains itself on nectar, and does a good job making pottery.
There are many types of wasps, but although I'd rather not have any nasty kinds around, the solitary wasps like these potter wasps are totally okay. In fact, they are genuinely welcome in my back yard. I mean, who doesn't mind a few little urns sitting around?