Potter Wasp (Euodynerus spp.)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Potter Wasp.
Updated: 6/11/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Solitary and quiet, Potter Wasps go about their business without much attention to their human neighbors.
There are a variety of Potter Wasps in North America. Those in the genus Euodynerus look similar to each other, with some species requiring close inspection to differentiate. Black bodies have a short yellow band above the waist on the thorax. Some species have a pair of yellow dots near this band. A somewhat decorative yellow band sits at the top of the abdomen and a second, plain yellow band is on the lower half. Wings appear black. Black legs have yellow feet. Antennae are black.
All are hunters of caterpillar. Females generally look for abandoned nests from other types of wasps; it is easier than building one from mud. Once a nest is obtained, see hunts down a caterpillar, only paralyzing it. She brings it back to the nest and packs it inside a cell with a fertilized egg. Once the egg hatches, the wasp larva eats away at the caterpillar, eventually killing it. The lava pupates and emerges as a winged adult.
Potter Wasps are not aggressive and generally leave people alone. They may build nests close to human habitats, which could cause more encounters between people and the insect, so removing piles of wood from the exterior of the house can help prevent a population from growing uncomfortably close.