Currently viewing the category: "Potter and Mason Wasps"
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Nest
Location: Mediteranean coast of south westTurkey
October 3, 2011 12:28 am
Please identify this wasp’s? nest. It is on the side of my house on the artificial facing bricks 1.7 meters from the ground. (we do get mud daubers but these construct the 8mm dia x 30 mm long nests)
Thank You
Signature: Malcolm

Mason Wasp Nest, we believe

Hi Malcolm,
We believe this is a Mason Wasp nest from the subfamily Eumeninae, however, we are unable to substantiate that in our web searching.  We are posting your photo and letter and we hope to get some confirmation eventually.

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Some type of paper wasp?
Location: Hawthorne, CA
October 1, 2011 1:58 pm
Here’s another wasp that’s new to my yard. Is it another type of paper wasp?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Potter Wasp

Hi again Anna,
Like the photo you submitted this past June, and the images you submitted in December, we believe this is another Mason Wasp or Potter Wasp in the subfamily Eumeninae.  The angle of view for the photos and the variation in markings may be confusing you.

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Help in IDing this wasp, please.
Location: Mason County, Ludington, MI
September 17, 2011 9:33 pm
Took the attached photo today at Ludington State Park in Ludington, MI. Would appreciate help in ID.
Signature: John

Potter Wasp

Hi John,
This is one of the Potter Wasps in the subfamily Eumeninae, and we believe we have correctly identified it as
Eumenes fraternus based on images posted to BugGuide.  Potter Wasps are solitary wasps that build small mud nests provisioned with caterpillars that look like miniature ceramic urns or vases.   

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unicorn wasp
Location: Jamestown, RI
August 24, 2011 5:01 pm
Rescued this little guy from a bowl of water then decided to take a walk up my arm.
Signature: PeeGee

Potter Wasp

Hi again PeeGee,
This looks to us like one of the Potter Wasps or Mason Wasps in the subfamily Eumeninae, and you can find many of the similar looking genera on BugGuide.  We believe the antennae stuck together because of the water, giving your individual the appearance of only one horn.  For your valiant rescue, we are tagging you as a Bug Humanitarian.

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Rescued Wasp – Thanks for the kudos, Daniel
Location: Hawthorne, California
June 22, 2011 8:20 pm
Hello again, Daniel. I’m hoping you can help me identify this wasp. It’s another insect that I fished out of the bird bath recently. I thought from the markings that it was one I had photographed before, but that was the Kanye West Fly, aka Eristalinus taeniops.
Thanks very much for your time! We hoped to come and see you speak the end of last month, but were unable to attend. Maybe next time. . . just realized that you named me ”INSECT HUMANITARIAN OF THE WEEK”. Thanks very much. Cracked me up! I fish buggies out of the bird bath just about every day and my success rate is astounding! If only I knew insect CPR.
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Mason Wasp

Hi Anna,
We seem to have run into a snag in trying to identify this wasp.  At first we were quite certain that it is a Yellow Jacket, but its markings don’t seem to match any of the species posted to BugGuide. Even more puzzling is that it looks nothing like the Western Yellow Jackets posted on BugGuide, nor does it appear to be a European Paper Wasp, which according to BugGuide, has orange antennae.  We are going to try to contact Eric Eaton to get his opinion.
P.S.  Though you were only named Insect Humanitarian of the Week, you should know that there has not been another Insect Humanitarian named since you earned the title, which means that thusfar you have no competition for the Insect Humanitarian of the Year contest.

Hi Daniel,
This wasp is quite small.  I don’t know if wasps hatch fully grown or not, but if you notice the wood screw in the photo you can tell it’s size.  I appreciate your time on this little guy.
We also have some other flies in the garden that I’ve not seen before, but I was able to identify them at BugGuide.net.  They are attracted to a flower named Bishop’s Flower (Ammi majus), which I’ve also not seen before.  The seeds for it came out of one little packet that I bought about this time last year.  It’s amazing that germination of many of the different seeds in the packet has taken place over almost one year.  Still enjoying that investment so!
Hope we can get out to see you next time you speak.
Anna

Eric Eaton makes a correction
Daniel:
This is a mason wasp, family Vespidae, subfamily Eumeninae (see BugGuide).  I don’t know most of them well enough to be more specific.  Nice image, though!
Eric

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Ancistrocerus?
Location: Hawthorne, California
December 10, 2010 12:25 am
A new wasp in the back yard yesterday. It’s small, the flower it was feeding on is cilantro. Can you help?
Signature: Thanks, Anna

Potter Wasp

Dear Anna,
The genus
Ancistrocerus is part of the Potter Wasp subfamily Eumeninae, and we are in total agreement with you up until that point.  Your specimen does look very much like Ancistrocerus tuberculocephalus which is represented on BugGuide with submissions from Los Angeles, but it also resembles the images of a member of the genus Dolichodynerus  from San Diego that are posted on BugGuide.  Alas, we haven’t the necessary skill to confirm the genus or species for certain, but we are quite confident that you have a Potter Wasp in the subfamily Eumeninae.  You can read more about the fascinating Potter Wasps on BugGuide.  Thanks so much for sending us the images.  We are pleased to see that your garden is attracting other beneficial pollinating insects and we hope you continue to send us documentation of the Syrphid Flies and other new species you encounter.  Allowing plants like cilantro and parsley to flower is a positive contribution to the balanced ecosystem that exists in a pesticide free and natural (and often unruly) garden because those are the plants that attract beneficial insects.  We have decided to feature your letter and photos because we hope that more gardeners will approach the endeavor with a more holistic approach and shun the carefully manicured gardens that might look pretty and perfect, but are actually sterile environments for native creatures.

Potter Wasp

Hi Daniel,
Thanks very much for the words of praise.  Last year we decided to let the lawn die in back, and this spring/summer we had all of the sod removed and replaced it with gravel paths and planting beds for native species (mostly grown from seed).  It’s surpassed my wildest hopes.  We’ve had so many wonderful “new” birds and insects visiting our little patch of heaven.  I did retain the vegetable patch, because I just can’t do without my tomatoes & peppers.  You have been a great help to me in identifying these wonderful creatures not only visit, but now seem comfortable enough to take up residence with us.  Please don’t give me too much credit, as most of what happens is a result of plain old procrastination!
I don’t know if you are aware, but I first ran across you as a result of a photo of a Mallophora fautrix photo I submitted.  I attempted to identify it as Bombylans and apparently it caught your eye . . .
Thanks very much again for all of your help and the time you spend answering my requests.
Anna

Hi Anna,
Thanks for the reminder on that wonderful Robber Fly image.  We remembered the numerous Syrphids you have submitted.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination