Mason Wasp captures Caterpillar

Food Chain
Location:  North Middle Tennessee
August 14, 2010 1:35 pm
Hi Daniel,
I thought this was a potter wasp a few weeks ago, but now I don’t know what it is. I noticed a hole bored in the bottom of the deck rail a couple of days ago. (Sawdust below it) I looked into the hole and it was empty. It was approx. one and a half inches deep. Today I saw this struggle going on and ran for the camera.

Mason Wasp with Caterpillar

The worm/grub was almost more the the wasp could carry. I watch and snapped photos untill it finally got into the hole. It left the worm/grub in the hole. I will keep an eye on the hole to see if she closes it of just leaves it open. I never saw these black and white wasp looking things before this year. The adults appear to feed on pollen. Thanks and have a great day.

Mason Wasp with Caterpillar

Hi Richard,
We believe we have correctly identified your Mason Wasp as
Monobia quadridens on BugGuide which indicates:  “Usually nests in wood borings, but sometimes burrows in dirt banks. Sometimes takes over abandoned nests of carpenter bees or ground bees, also Sceliphron (mud dauber) cells. Nest is provisioned with caterpillars, and cells of nest are separated by mud partitions.”  A very similar looking species is Euodynerus bidens, also profiled on BugGuide.  The two can be distinguished from one another by this method:  “Nearly identical to Monobia quadridens. Large rounded white spots on the propodeum (smaller or absent in Monobia quadridens) and smaller rounded white spots on the temples (present only in Euodynerus bidens) are used to distinguish the two.”  Your photographs are beautiful.

Mason Wasp with Caterpillar Prey

Leave a Comment