Currently viewing the category: "Potter and Mason Wasps"
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

Subject: Wood boring….wasp?
Location: 48108 Ann Arbor, MI
June 3, 2016 10:05 pm
Hello! These guys are making a condominium in my barn. What are they? I am in zone 6b SE Michigan.
Signature: Mary

Mason Wasp drilling nest

Mason Wasp drilling nest

Dear Mary,
We embarked on a relatively lengthy internet search in an attempt to identify your Mason Wasp in the Subfamily Eumeninae, beginning with unsuccessfully scanning through all the genera on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “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.”  We then found this great site, Bug of the Week run by Michael J Raupp, Ph.D. that has a wonderful posting of Mason Wasps using pre-existing cavities.  At last we found a very similar looking individual identified as being in the genus
Symmorphus on Bug Eric, the awesome site run by Eric Eaton.  An image on BugGuide of Symmorphus canadensis looks very close to your species, but there is no indication that the females will excavate a nest if they cannot locate a pre-existing cavity.  We will contact Eric Eaton to get his opinion.  We suppose these beams may have been infested with some other boring insect and the holes were quickly appropriated by the Mason Wasps.

Mason Wasp Nests

Mason Wasp Nests

Oh thank you!
There’s a lot of them. They go into the holes, also.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Possible wasp?
Location: Sydney, Australia
February 7, 2016 11:56 pm
Hi there, I have noticed what looks to be a wasp nesting outside my back door. It does not seem to be aggressive and I don’t mind it being there as long as it doesn’t harm myself or my dogs. However, the strange thing about it is the nest structure and what it is made out of. I Googled wasp nests, I have looked everywhere and types everything but can’t see any nests that look anything like this. Do you know what type of wasp this is? Is it even a wasp? What is the nest made out of? It’s driving me crazy not knowing. If you zoom in on photo 1, you can just see the little wasp’s head inside the hole. I have no desire to remove the nest as I am regularly outside and the wasp doesn’t come near me. But I’m so curious. If you could identify it for me, that would be great. Thanks so much.
Signature: CuriousityCat

Wasp with Nest

Wasp with Nest

Dear CuriosityCat,
Wasps that construct nests generally use mud or chewed wood that creates a paper pulp.  Your images have what appears to be resin oozing from the bricks.  There is not really enough detail for us to be able to identify the Wasp, but perhaps one of our readers who is more familiar with Australian insects will be able to provide an identity.

Wasp with Nest

Wasp with Nest

Update:  Thanks to comments from Cesar Crash and Drhoz, we are pretty confident this is a Resin Mason Wasp, Epsilon chartergiformis, which is documented on FlickR constructing a nest using resin.  It is also documented on Bowerbird where Ken Walker provided the following comment:  “This is a FASCINATING find!!! There are very few aculeate wasps (ie. wasps with stings) that use resin as a building material. There are Australian resin bees but to our knowledge, there are only two Australian wasps that use plant resins to build their brood nest. These wasps are Epsilon chartergiformis (incorrectly listed on AFD, ALA and BowerBird as Pseudepipona chartergiformis) and Epsilon excavatum (incorrectly listed on AFD, ALA and BowerBird as Ubirodynerus excavatus). In 1995, Giordani Soika transferred these wasps to the genus Epsilon. There are 17 described species in this genus and all occur in SE Asia and Australia. OBVIOUSLY, there are no distribution records on ALA for either of the two Australian species.”

Wasp Peering from Nest

Wasp Peering from Nest

Update:  February 23, 2016
Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much, to yourself and your readers for helping me identify the wasp. I feel so happy now that I know what it is. I’ve been watching every day as the nest has been growing bigger, it’s been interesting.
I’ve attached a photo I took of the nest this morning, as it looks now.
Thank you once again for taking the time to get back to me, I really appreciate it.
Kind regards,
Novella Besso

Resin Mason Wasp Nest

Resin Mason Wasp Nest

Dear Novella,
Thanks for your kind words and a progress image of your Resin Mason Wasp Nest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination