(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 characteristics: 1) a posterolateral projection known as a parategula on both sides of the mesoscutum
; 2) tarsal claws cleft; 3) hind coxa
with a longitudinal dorsal carina or folding, often developed into a lobe or tooth; and 4) fore wings with three submarginal cells.
Eumenine wasps are diverse in nest
building. The different species may either use 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 regurgitate
water, but many species use chewed plant material instead.
The name "potter wasp" derives... Read More