Ants Sawflies Bees and Wasps: Hymenoptera
Potter Wasp (eumenes Fraternus): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics The body of a potter wasp measures 0.51 to 0.66 inches (13 to 17 millimeters) in length. It is black with yellow markings on the thorax and abdomen. The dark smoky wings have a violet iridescence. The first abdominal segment is very slender, but the second is broad and bell-shaped. The middle legs, just before the feet, have only one spur at the tip.
Geographic range: Potter wasps are found in the eastern United States, west to Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Habitat: Adults are found in open areas or on flowers.
Diet: Adults feed on nectar; larvae eat caterpillars.
Behavior and reproduction: Potter wasps live alone. They build jug-shaped nests out of mud that have narrow necks with an expanded rim.
The female suspends a single egg from the wall of the nest with a slender thread. She then packs the nest with one to twelve paralyzed caterpillars and seals the nest with more mud. The hatching wasp grub eats the living but paralyzed prey provided by its mother. The larva pupates inside the nest. After emerging from the pupa, the adult breaks its way out of the nest.
Potter wasps and people: Because they do not defend their nests, potter wasps are not aggressive and seldom sting people. Their mud nests are believed to have been the models for clay pots made by native Americans.
Conservation status: This species is not considered endangered or threatened. ∎
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Buchman, S. L., and G. P. Nabhan. The Forgotten Pollinators. Washington: The Island Press, 1996.
Hölldobler, B., and E. O. Wilson. Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scientific Exploration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994.
Hoyt, E. The Earth Dwellers: Adventures in the Land of Ants. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.
Hubbell, S. A Book of Bees. New York: Ballantine Books, 1989.
Hubbell, S. Broadsides from the Other Orders: A Book of Bugs. New York: Random House, 1993.
Tavolacci, J., ed. Insects and Spiders of the World. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2003.
Wade, N., ed. The Science Times Book of Insects. New York: The Lyons Press, 1999.
Evans, A. V. "The Giant Hornet." Fauna. (July/August 2001), pp. 67–68.
Evans, A. V. "Ants. Friend or Foe?" Bird Talk (February 2004), pp. 28–37.
Evans, A. V. "Ants: There's Strength in Numbers." Reptiles Magazine 12, no. 3 (March 2004): 58–61.
Mairson, A. "America's Beekeepers. Hives for Hire." National Geographic 183, no. 5 (May 1993): 73–93.
Moffett, M. W. "Gardeners of the Ant World." National Geographic 188, no. 1 (December 1996): 98–11.
Sisson, R. F. "The Wasp that Plays Cupid to a Fig." National Geographic 138, no. 5 (November 1970): 690–697.
"Hymenoptera. Wasps, bees, ants." Ecowatch. http://www.ento.csiro.au/Ecowatch/Hymenoptera.html (accessed on November 8, 2004).
"A Scanning Electron Microscope Atlas of the Honey Bee." http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/beebook/bee.html (accessed on November 8, 2004).
"Wasps, bees, ants. Hymenoptera." BioKids. Critter Catalog. http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/information/Hymenoptera.html (accessed on November 8, 2004).
Bug City. Ants. Wynnewood, PA: Schlessinger Media, 1998.
Bug City. Bees. Wynnewood, PA: Schlessinger Media, 1998.
- Ants Sawflies Bees and Wasps: Hymenoptera - No Common Name (trissolcus Basalis): Species Accounts
- Other Free Encyclopedias
Animal Life ResourceInsects and SpidersAnts Sawflies Bees and Wasps: Hymenoptera - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Hymenopterans And People, Conservation Status, Honeybee (apis Mellifera): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT