fraternal potter wasp

(Eumenes fraternus)

Conservation Status
fraternal potter wasp
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Fraternal potter wasp is a solitary wasp—it does not nest in colonies.

The upper (dorsal) plate (scutum) of the middle segment of the thorax has two small projections at the rear corners called parategula.

The first abdominal segment (propodium) is narrow and elongated, and gradually increases in width from the point of attachment at the thorax.

There is a narrow, ivory-colored, marking on the thorax just behind the head, at the rear of the first abdominal segment, and on the second abdominal segment. There are also two ivory-colored spots on the sides of the third abdominal segment.

The wings are folded longitudinally at rest.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to ¾

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Woodland edges, shrubby fields

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Late June to September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Females build a small mud jug-shaped nest (pot) often on a twig. The shape of the nest is the source of the common name of this wasp. They provision the pot with previously paralyzed beetle larvae, spiders, or small caterpillars, and often spring cankerworms (Paleacrita vernata). A single egg is suspended by a slender thread from the top of the side of the pot. A nest may have more than one cell. Offspring overwinter in the pot in the embryo stage. When the egg hatches the larva drops onto the food source and begins to feed. Adults emerge from the side of the pot in July of the following year.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Beetle larvae, spiders, or small caterpillars, and often spring cankerworms

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Flower nectar

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  11/7/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Widespread

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)  
 

Suborder

Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)  
 

Infraorder

Aculeata (ants, bees and stinging wasps)  
 

Superfamily

Vespoidea (vespoid wasps)  
 

Family

Vespidae (hornets, paper wasps, potter wasps, and allies)  
 

Subfamily

Eumeninae (potter and mason wasps)  
 

Genus

Eumenes  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

fraternal potter wasp

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    fraternal potter wasp      
           
    fraternal potter wasp   fraternal potter wasp  
           
 
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    fraternal potter wasp   fraternal potter wasp  
           

 

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Potter Wasp
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  Potter Wasp  
 
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Other Videos
 
  Eumenes fraternus = POTTER WASP foraging on flower
Rob Curtis
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 13, 2016

Eumenes fraternus = POTTER WASP foraging on flower

 
  Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus)
Legend813a
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 3, 2008

Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus)

Potter wasps (or mason wasps) are a cosmopolitan wasp group presently treated as a subfamily of Vespidae, but sometimes recognized in the past as a separate family, Eumenidae.

Most eumenine species are black or brown, and commonly marked with strikingly contrasting patterns of yellow, white, orange, or red (or combinations thereof), but some species, mostly from tropical regions, show faint to strong blue or green metallic highlights in the background colors. Like most vespids, their wings are folded longitudinally at rest. They are particularly recognized by the following combination of characters:

Recognition

1) Mesoscutum with a posterolateral projection known as parategula; 2) Tarsal claws cleft; 3) Hind coxae with a longitudinal dorsal carina or folding, often developed into a lobe or tooth; 4) Fore wing with 3 submarginal cells.

Biology

Eumenine wasps are diverse in nest building. The different species may either use pre-existing cavities (such as beetle tunnels in wood, abandoned nests of other hymenoptera or even man-made holes like old nail holes and even screw shafts on electronic devices) that they modify in several degrees, or they construct their own either underground or exposed nests. The nest may have one to multiple individual brood cells. The most widely-used building material is mud made of a mixture of earth and regurgitated water, but many species use chewed plant material instead.

The name "potter wasp" derives from the shape of the mud nests built by species of Eumenes and similar genera. It is believed that Native Americans based their pottery designs upon the form of local potter wasp nests. [von Frisch, 1974].

All known eumenine species are predators, most of them solitary mass provisioners, though some isolated species show primitive states of social behaviour and progressive provisioning.

When a cell is completed, the adult wasp typically collects beetle larvae, spiders or caterpillars and, paralyzing them, places them in the cell to serve as food for a single wasp larva. As a normal rule, the adult wasp lays a single egg in the empty cell before provisioning it. Some species lay the egg in the opening of the cell, suspended from a thread of dried fluid. When the wasp larva hatches, it drops and start to feed upon the supplied prey for a period of time that normally last some few weeks before pupating. The complete life cycle may last from a few weeks to more than a year from the egg until the adult emerges. Adult potter wasps feed on floral nectar.

Taxonomy

They are the most diverse subfamily of vespids, with more than 200 genera, and contain the vast majority of species in the family. The overwhelming morphological diversity of the potter wasp species is reflected in the proliferation of genera described to group them in more manageable groups. You can see here the list of potter wasp genera.

Eumenes is the type genus of the subfamily Eumeninae ("potter wasps") of Vespidae. It is a large and widespread genus, with over 100 taxa (species and subspecies), mostly occurring in the temperate portions of the Northern Hemisphere. Most species are black or brown, and commonly marked with strikingly contrasting patterns of yellow, white, orange, or red (or combinations thereof). Like most vespids, their wings are folded longitudinally at rest. The first metasomal segment is narrow and elongate, creating a "bulbous" appearance to the abdomen.

The genus was named after the Greek general Eumenes. The root of the name has been widely used to construct many other genus-level names for potter wasps with petiolated metasoma like Brachymenes, Santamenes, Oreumenes, Pachymenes, Katamenes, etc. Most of those groups have been treated as part of the genus Eumenes for a long time.

 
  Potter wasp, cleaning up
MJBugs
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 19, 2013

Eumenes fraternus on BugGuide: 867634

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
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  scibink
5/30/2021

Location: Anoka County

found on the main stem of a common mullein, about 2 feet up.

 
  Alfredo Colon
8/21/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

fraternal potter wasp  
  Alfredo Colon
8/13/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

fraternal potter wasp  
           
 
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