Potter WaspPotter Wasp – identity crisis Potter Wasp – larder Potter Wasp – mud nest Potter Wasp – water

Sometimes referred to as the Orange Potter Wasp and Mud Wasp, the Potter Wasp (Delta latreillei, previously classified as Eumenes latreilli) are found throughout Australia. They are often seen around bodies of water, including bird baths and fish ponds, where they collect water to mix with sand/clay that is available to them in the area. From this mixture they create their mud nests. Sometimes Potter Wasp will add to existing mud nests, creating larger structures. They fill the mud nest with food for their larva, sometimes laying more then one larva in different parts of the mud nest.

Potter Wasp (Eumenes latreilli) taking food back to mud nest, Alice Springs
Potter Wasp (Delta latreillei) taking food back to mud nest, Alice Springs

Potter Wasp (Delta latreillei) usually collect caterpillars for the larder.

The hole is then sealed. The evidence of the larvae having pupated into the adult wasp and having left the nest is the exposed hole opening.

Sealing the larva and food in the cell of the mud nest of the Mud Wasp (Eumenes latreilli), Alice Springs, NT
Sealing the larva and food in the cell of the mud nest of the Mud Wasp (Delta latreillei)

In the following images, the nest was damaged and you could see the content of the larder that would have fed the Mud Wasp larvae.

Further investigation of the damaged mud nest showed there was more then one larva in the nest.

In the following series of images you can see the young mud wasp larva. The adult mud wasp will be returning with caterpillars to pack the nest, before sealing the entrance.

Stocking the larder of the Mud Wasp (Eumenes latreilli), Alice Springs, NT
Mud Wasp (Delta latreillei) stocking the larder for the larva, Alice Springs, NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Family: Vespidae
  • Subfamily: Eumeninae
  • Genus: Delta
  • Species D. latreillei
  • Binomial name: Delta latreillei

    previously
  • Genus: Eumenes
  • Species: E. latreilli

Potter WaspPotter Wasp – identity crisis Potter Wasp – larder Potter Wasp – mud nest Potter Wasp – water

WaspsAustralian Mud Nest Wasps Bembicinae Bembix Eumeninae Mud Wasp Orange-collared Spider Wasp Potter Wasp Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Yellow and Black Wasp Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp – R tasmaniensis