A hot, humid, and quiet day and a potter wasp has secured a looper caterpillar for its “pot” nest chamber. The wasp descended on the caterpillar as it was looping along the path in front of Into The Mist in Catch the Wind. I was lucky to be there when it happened.
Potter wasps are solitary wasps, which means they nest alone, not in colonial gatherings as do some burrowing wasps or in collective hives as do yellowjackets, paper wasps, or hornets.
They construct small “pots” in which they stock caterpillars for the larvae that will later hatch from the eggs laid inside the nest chambers.
The wasp shown here stung the caterpillar, paralyzing the little larva, then moved it back and forth, from side to side, pinching it with its mandibles for a quarter-hour. It tried several times to take flight but didn’t seem able until finally it was airborne, presumably, on its way back to its “pot.”
This wasp looks to be Eumenes fraternus.
You have to be there to see it. So, get out and have a look around!