Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Potter Wasp Pot - Eumenes

Potter Wasp Pot - Eumenes
Fort Bragg, Cumberland County, North Carolina, USA
June 8, 2004
You can see the head of something in there.

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Potter Wasp Pot - Eumenes Potter Wasp Pot - Eumenes

Moved from Eumenes.

Great images. I would highly encourage everyone to shoot images of insect nests, galls, and other "signs" that they come across. In answer to the implied question, potter wasp females stock these pots with paralyzed caterpillars. A single wasp larva will reside in each pot.

Number of occupants
Hi, Eric :-)

I just posted a series of photos of similar Eumenes "larval/pupal chambers". [I don't know of a better name for the nest structure, though I suspect there is one. (Ah! I see you used the term "pot", as in "potter wasp", and descriptive of the nest...looking like a vase thrown on a potter's wheel)]


Anyway, I opened a pot and found 3 pupae rather than one. Your comment that the female Eumenes deposits a single wasp larva egg in the chamber has me thinking the pupae I found may be those of parasitoids (braconids or tachinids from the caterpillar, or something that got the larval Eumenes, or...??).

maybe flies? It will be interesting to see what pops out. Did you keep these to watch them?

I have a bunch of what I think are gall photos....would you like me to post them, would anyone be able to tell which species they are??

Gall Identification
Ron Russo, author of Field Guide to Plant Galls of California and Other Western States (ISBN 0520248864) has been most helpful confirming western states gall identifications--several of which I recently posted to the Guide. I believe someone else published a guide to eastern states galls. If you wish further assistance, Ron may be able to refer you to a colleague. The study of galls, cecidology, draws on entomology, botany and parasitology. Note: In North America, the primary gall inducers are Cynipid wasps and native oaks are their favorite host.

I'm now on the west coast, so maybe I'll need both.