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  • Four-Toothed Mason Wasp - (Monobia quadridens)

    Four-Toothed Mason Wasp - (Monobia quadridens)

    Sometimes mistaken for the Bald-Faced Hornet, the Four-Toothed Mason Wasp is not nearly as social.


    Picture of Four-Toothed Mason Wasp


    Staff Writer (8/13/2014): The solitary Four-Toothed Mason Wasp is a beneficial insect to have in the garden, just like its doppelganger, the Bald-Faced Hornet. The Mason Wasp reduces the number of leaf-rolling caterpillars by using them as food for their newly hatched larvae.

    Females will create a nest in an abandoned hole created by a Carpenter Bee, Mud Dauber, ground nests from another species of bee or they will use hollow tubes (plants, pipes, hollowed branches). Once the location is determined, she creates cells in it where she will lay her fertilized eggs. She then begins to hunt and paralyze a variety of moth and cutworm caterpillars. She brings them, alive, back to her nest and puts a few in each cell and plugs the cell up with mud.

    Hatched larvae begin feeding on the living caterpillars in their cells. After a few days of growing, a larva will pupate in the cell. Some late season larvae will overwinter as pupae. After pupating, it will eventually chew through the mud and free itself from the cell. Adults drink flower nectar. They are most active in the summer and usually found in gardens and meadows.

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    Details of the:
    Four-Toothed Mason Wasp


    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: Four-Toothed Mason Wasp
    Scientific Name: Monobia quadridens
    Other Names: Carpenter Wasp, Mason Wasp

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hymenoptera
          Family: Vespidae
           Genus: Monobia
            Species: quadridens

    Size (Adult, Length): 15mm to 21mm (0.59in to 0.83in)

    Identifying Colors: black, yellow, white

    Additional Descriptors: flying, bands, stripes, hornet, stinging


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado;Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; West Virginia; Wyoming


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.