Currently viewing the category: "Potter and Mason Wasps"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Pittsburgh
Date: 08/18/2018
Time: 07:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I believe this is a thread waisted wasp, based on info I found on your site.  It has recently shown up in my garden!
I’m sharing this photo and just wondering if that’s what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Urban garden gal

Potter Wasp

Dear Urban garden gal,
This is actually a Potter Wasp in the genus
Eumenes, and not a Thread-Waisted Wasp as this BugGuide image illustrates.  If you hunt carefully in your garden, paying attention to bare twigs, you might locate the pot-shaped nest of the Potter Wasp.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  solitary wasp identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Topanga Canyon, Calif 90290
Date: 08/07/2018
Time: 08:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Three years ago these unaggressive wasps started taking over my unoccupied  mason bee nests.  They come out in April-May and by middle of June most of the nests are plugged up.
How you want your letter signed:  John

Mason Wasp

Dear John,
The quick and easy answer is that this is a Mason Wasp in the subfamily Eumeninae, and
 BugGuide states:  “Most species nest in pre-existing cavities (e.g., old borings in wood, hollow stems, crevices in rocks). They are called mason wasps because they use mud (or less commonly sand) as partitions between their brood cells. Some species construct nests in the ground (e.g., all Pterocheilus, Odynerus, Euodynerus annulatus, E. auranus, E. crypticus). Some ground-nesting species build small mud turrets over the nest entrance (Odynerus dilectus, Euodynerus annulatus). ” Ancistrocerus tuberculocephalus which is pictured on BugGuide looks very similar, and of the genus contains hole nesters according to BugGuide.  We found an image on BugGuide of Euodynerus annulatus that is a near perfect match and it was found in the Los Angeles area, however BugGuide states:  “Nests in the ground. Unlike other ground-nesting Euodynerus it constructs a mud turret over the nest entrance.”  BugGuide does picture another member of the genus nesting in holes, and Eric Eaton’s blog pictures yet another member of the genus nesting in Mason Bee blocks.  So, we don’t feel confident providing you with either a species or a genus at this time, but we will continue to research this matter and we will consult with Eric Eaton to get his opinion.

In a shameless bit of self promotion, Daniel did a slide lecture on insects at The Topanga Mermaid in May 2017.

Mason Wasp

Eric Eaton confirms Identification
It’s a Euodynerus, but I don’t know which one.  You can seldom go by color pattern alone.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Mason Wasps

Thanks for making the effort to identify my nesting wasp(s).  It sure looks almost exactly like the photo of the
Euodynerus Annalatus in the Bug Guide.  The color patterns on the abdomen are identical, and the antennae also look the same (single joint and wider downward curved pointy end).  For my purposes it’s enough to know what the Mason Wasps do in their short active life…capturing caterpillars is usually a good thing.
Sorry I missed the Topanga Mermaid lecture, I read about it after the fact.
My next project is to identify and learn how to attract predatory wasps that attack spider mites, especially the two-spotted kind.
John

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasp??
Geographic location of the bug:  Byrnestown qld. 4625.
Date: 03/07/2018
Time: 01:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Have had a lovely yellow and black wasp  building a very small mud nest on the toilet seat of all places! I have not seen another one like her, there are a lot of the mud dauber wasps that build their nests everywhere in the house, this ones stripes are more yellow than the mud dauber, she was trying to put a caterpillar in the nest but caught me watching her and took off  and I haven’t seen her return, usually the mud dauber wasps don’t care if you watch them, actually can get very close, would you happen to know the species?, seems very shy.
How you want your letter signed:  Leigh

Potter Wasp Nest

Dear Leigh,
This looks to us like the nest of a Potter Wasp in the subfamily Eumeninae, a subfamily well represented with yellow and black individuals from Australia pictured on the Brisbane Insect site where it states:  “Potter Wasps in Eumeninae build mud nest. They are solitary wasps. They are typically black and yellow or black and orange in colours. Potter wasps usually prey on caterpillars which they paralyze and place inside cells in their nests for their young. Nests are either dug into the ground, constructed from mud, in wood, or in existing burrows of their hosts.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mystery nest
Geographic location of the bug:  Buenos Aires, Argentina
Date: 01/12/2018
Time: 10:05 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Mr Bugman,
I come to ask you about the small nest that’s formed on my ficus tree. I live in the Southern Hemisphere and it’s summer right now. I suspect it’s some kind of wasp nest. What can you tell me about it? Also, should I just leave it alone?
It’s about 5 cm x 4 cm x 4 cm by the way
How you want your letter signed:  Sofi

Potter Wasp Nest

Dear Sofi,
You are correct that this is a Wasp Nest, and since it is a non-aggressive solitary Potter Wasp, there is no need to fear it or to remove it.  Potter Wasps or Mason Wasps in the subfamily Eumeninae construct nests of mud.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.

Potter Wasp Nest

Thank you!!! It’s so cool you were able to identify it!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red Wasp in Florida
Location: St Petersburg, Florida
March 6, 2017 12:26 pm
Hi,
A friend took the attached picture near St. Petersburg, Florida. It looks like a wasp, and it’s certainly red. I know, though, that some bees look a lot like wasps.
Can you please identify the species for us? We’re both curious about it.
Thanks much.
Signature: Jay Bryant

Potter Wasp

Dear Jay,
Because of the shape and color of the wings and the way they are held, we believe this is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, but we cannot locate any images on BugGuide that match the coloration on your individual.  Are there any images showing the face of this Wasp?

Potter Wasp

Hi, Daniel,
I asked my friend, Lesley Wilson, whom I have Cc’d on this message, if she had other images, and she did. I have attached all four (including a larger version of the original) as a zip file.
You mentioned that you didn’t have photos of a member of the species with this coloration. Lesley said she’d be fine with your using her images on your site, though she’d like to put her name on them first.
Thanks.
Jay Bryant

Thanks Jay,
These new images are a big help, though we still cannot provide you with a definite species identification.  Also thank Lesley Wilson for her contribution.  This is a Mason Wasp or Potter Wasp in the Subfamily Eumeninae, and the closest matches we can locate on BugGuide are
Delta rendalli which is pictured on BugGuide and Zeta argillaceum which is also pictured on BugGuide.  Both species are found in Florida.

Potter Wasp

Update from the Photographer
Good afternoon, Daniel Marlos. My friend Jay Bryant submitted some of my photos of a wasp to you for identification. I’m attaching accredited copies of photos of the wasp for your website use, should you so desire. I am happy to share my photos as long as they are appropriately accredited.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Lesley Wilson

Hi Lesley,
When Jay submitted the original request, he indicated a friend took them.  Then he provided additional images at our request that led to us identifying this Mason or Potter Wasp. You are credited in the text of the posting, however I will need to remove all the images and repost them if you want your credit embedded in the images.  Please advise.
Daniel

Potter Wasp

Ed. Note:  Our staff has replaced the original images with the new images supplied by Lesley Wilson, the photographer.  Visit her FlickR site for more of Lesley’s work.

Potter Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery wasp
Location: Troy, VA
September 5, 2016 1:01 pm
I spotted this lovely wasp (I’m assuming it’s a wasp, but maybe it’s not) on goldenrod flowers by the side of a pond. It has a slight bluish sheen that doesn’t really show in the photos. I have done some searching but can’t really figure out what this is. Any help would be appreciated.
thanks again
Signature: Grace Pedalino

Potter Wasp

Potter Wasp

Dear Grace,
We identified your Potter Wasp as
Zethus spinipes thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Black, thorax has yellow marks. Narrow yellow band on abdominal segment 3. Wings brown to violet. Bizarre stalked abdomen typical of genus.”  We are very excited to have a posting to add to our new tag:  Goldenrod Meadow.

Potter Wasp

Potter Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination