Sunday, May 18, 2008

Potter Wasp

I was browsing the internet looking for some references for the new post that I am doing regarding pottery and I saw a very interesting subject. Since I was trying to google the word “pottery” , a “Potter Wasp” came out and caught my interest. So I decided to write about it first.

Potter Wasps obtained their name from “pottery” (obviously!) because they can construct a nest that shapes like a pot.  It is usually made of mud and regurgerated water or chewed plant materials. This kind of wasp makes nest provisioning specifically for its larva, laying a single egg in an empty nest or just at the opening, suspended from a thread which it also makes.  Adult wasp catches beetle larvae, caterpillars or spiders, paralyzes them then puts them inside the nest. As soon as the egg hatches, the larva will drop directly on the provisioned prey and starts to feed on it which normally takes a few weeks before it goes through the pupa stage. Its life cycle reaches its completion from a few weeks until more than a year before the egg becomes an adult. 

What’s even more amazing is that it was believed that Native Americans based their pottery designs from a Potter Wasp’s nest. Wow!

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