Potter Wasps

Potter Wasp is the common name for a group of caterpillar-hunting wasps known for their pot-shaped mud nests built by some species. Potter wasps are also known as Mason wasps. Potter wasps are found throughout the northern hemisphere, mainly in temperate regions. There are about 270 species in the United States and Canada and about 3000 species worldwide.

Potter Wasp Characteristics

Potter wasps are medium to large sized wasps measuring between 9 to 20 millimetres in length. Potter wasps are black with white, yellow, orange, or red markings.

Potter Wasp Life Cycle

Potter wasp adults feed on flower nectar and collect small caterpillars to feed their young. The caterpillars are paralyzed with the wasp’s sting and piled into the brood cell which is the compartment in which the wasp larvae develops. The female wasp then lays an egg on the stored caterpillars. The Potter wasp larvae consumes from 1 to 12 caterpillars as it grows. Potter wasps are important in the natural control of caterpillars.