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Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Potter Wasp, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 1/27/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Potter Wasp  
Picture of Potter-Wasp
Picture of Potter-Wasp Picture of Potter-WaspPicture of Potter-Wasp

The parasitic Potter Wasp has purple wings and get its own urn-shaped room as larvae.

Potter Wasps have nests that look like ceramic jugs or pots. They create these mud nests on twigs, branches or on the trunks of trees. The marble-sized nest has only one chamber, unlike the many chambers inside a honeybee hive. They are most active during the summer.

A female will lay just one egg inside the chamber and then place paralyzed caterpillars inside as well before sealing the nest at the opening. The parasitic wasp larva will eat the caterpillars before digging its way out of the chamber.

Picture of the Potter Wasp
Picture of the Potter Wasp

Potter Wasp Information

Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Common Name: Potter Wasp
Scientific Name: Eumenes fraternus

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Hymenoptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Vespidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Eumenes
       Arrow graphic Species: fraternus

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 9 mm to 19 mm (0.351 inches to 0.741 inches)
Identifying Colors: cream, black, yellow, white, purple
Additional Descriptors: skinny, iridescent, flying, stinging

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma;Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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