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potter wasp

potter wasp (Eumenes fraternus)

Features and Behaviors

This species of potter wasp is from about 0.60 to 0.80 inches in length. Its first abdominal segment is very thin at the front but becomes wider at the back. The body is black with some markings of an ivory color.

Found statewide in woodland edges and shrubby fields, the adults of this species feed on flower nectar and pollen. The female builds a pot of mud into which she lays an egg and places a paralyzed caterpillar. She then closes the pot with a mud cap. The egg hatches to the larval stage that feeds on the caterpillar. Overwintering occurs in the prepupa stage. At least two generations are produced each year.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Vespidae

Illinois Status: common, native