The Potter Wasp (Eumenes dubius) is an insect in the Vespidae family of petiolated wasps (with a long thin waist called a petiole). It is a vespid. It is also called a Mason Wasp.
The Potter Wasp is black with yellow markings. The first part of its metasomal section (abdomen section) is narrow and elongated with a bulbous appearance. It has a very thin, long, waist. The thorax is about the same size and shape as the abdomen. Its wings are attached to the thorax. Its six legs are also attached to the thorax. It folds its wings longitudinally when it is resting. It has a large head, large eyes, and a pair of segmented antennae that curl at the tip.
The female Potter Wasp has a stinger but she is not aggressive. The stinger is also the ovipositor which she uses to lay eggs.
It measures about 1.5 centimetres (up to one inch) long.
Potter Wasps are widespread in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The Eumenes dubius species can be found in southern Europe and in the Near East, in countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Russia, Persia, Malta, and Turkey.
The larva of the Potter Wasp eats caterpillars, whereas the adult wasp sips nectar from flowers.
It is a solitary wasp and does not live and swarm with other wasps. It builds its own mud nest in the shape of a clay pot on a building wall or structure. The nest has one circular opening.
The adult female lays a single egg in an empty cell in the nest, which hatches into a larva. The wasp larva eats for a few weeks before pupating (making a cocoon-type casing). The larva emerges from the pupa as an adult wasp. The process is called metamorphosis, which takes the Potter Wasp one to eleven months to transform from a larva into a wasp.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM