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Species Monobia quadridens - Four-toothed Mason Wasp

Mason Wasp (Monobia quadridens) - Monobia quadridens - male Mason Wasp - Monobia quadridens Mason Wasp - Monobia quadridens Mason Wasp - Monobia quadridens Four-toothed Mason Wasp making mud ball - Monobia quadridens - female potter wasp - Monobia quadridens Four-toothed Mason Wasp - Monobia quadridens - male Monobia quadridens - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Vespoidea (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps and allies)
Family Vespidae (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps)
Subfamily Eumeninae (Potter and Mason Wasps)
Genus Monobia
Species quadridens (Four-toothed Mason Wasp)
20 mm
A single, broad, apical fascia on tergum 1 but otherwise black metasoma.
Mostly eastern United States, north to New Hamphire and southern Ontario, west to New Mexico, Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin. (1)
Usually seen in open habitats with flowers.
May-October (North Carolina)
Adult takes nectar at flowers. Larvae eat caterpillars.
Prey consists of Microlepidoptera caterpillars of Pyralidae (Phycitinae, Epipaschiinae), Crambidae (Pyraustinae), Elachistidae (Stenomatinae), Amphisbatidae, Gelechiidae and Tortricidae.
Life Cycle
Usually nests in wood borings, but sometimes burrows in dirt banks. Sometimes takes over abandoned nests of carpenter bees or ground bees, also Sceliphron (mud dauber) cells. Nest is provisioned with caterpillars, and cells of nest are separated by mud partitions.
See Also
Large black wasp with bold ivory markings. Euodynerus bidens is similar but far less common and has ivory spots behind the eyes:
Print References
Swan and Papp, p. 546, fig. 1189 (2)
Lutz, Field Book of Insects, 1st edition, has a color illustration of this species on plate XC (90), plate 98 in 3rd edition. (3)
Brimley, p. 440, lists just this member of the genus for North Carolina, gives season as May-October. (4)
Salsbury, p. 276, photo (5)
Internet References
The Oklahoma Biological Survey website - has an image of an adult as well, (though it is mis-labelled).
Works Cited
1.Identification Atlas of the Vespidae (Hymenoptera, Aculeata) of the Northeastern Nearctic Region
Matthias Buck, Stephen A. Marshall, and David K. B. Cheung. 2008. Biological Survey of Canada [Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification].
2.The Common Insects of North America
Lester A. Swan, Charles S. Papp. 1972. Harper & Row.
3.Field Book of Insects of the United States and Canada, Aiming to Answer Common Questions,
Frank Eugene Lutz. 1935. Putnam Pub Group.
4.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
5.Insects in Kansas
Glenn A. Salsbury and Stephan C. White. 2000. Kansas Dept. of Agriculture.