Four-Toothed Mason Wasp (Monobia quadridens)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Four-Toothed Mason Wasp.
Updated: 8/10/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Sometimes mistaken for the Bald-Faced Hornet, the Four-Toothed Mason Wasp is not nearly as social.
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.