We are often fascinated by the diversity of species that surrounds us or that we more commonly see in our environment. However, nature goes much further and is home to numerous species that, although less abundant or rare in our location, exist. In addition, due to the constant movement of both human beings and goods between countries, there are more and more cases of species that did not inhabit certain areas and that have ended up being present in those areas.
In this article that we present to you from EcologíaVerde, we focus on a specific case and that is sure to be the most curious for those people who know little or nothing about these wasps. Here we tell you what the potter wasp is like, its nest and its sting , among other details. If you are curious, we encourage you to continue reading!
What does a potter wasp look like
The potter wasps are a subfamily of wasps known as eumeninos ( Eumeninae ) . There are several types of potter wasps , in fact, it is a large and cosmopolitan group that includes about 200 genera. Many of them are invasive spicesof Asian origin that have expanded rapidly through territories that previously did not inhabit in a few years. Its geographical dispersion has been highly influenced by humans, with its common distribution being India, Nepal, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, as well as the Himalayas and Karakorum. However, so far, they do not represent a serious threat since no considered effects of this insect have been detected on the new colonized ecosystems or their biodiversity.
As for some of the characteristics of the potter wasp ,
- Its size is rather large and can reach about 17 mm.
- It has a black colored body, stained with yellow stripes on the initial and final part of the thorax, and on the abdomen.
- They are also characterized by being solitary wasps, unlike the social behavior that other families of wasps usually present.
- Regarding how long a potter wasp lives, as adults, males have a longevity only three or four weeks, while females can reach two or three months.
- The reproduction of the potter wasp is based on laying eggs. Females spend their entire lives building nests to lay their eggs. The potter wasp eggs are attached by the female to the roof of the nest through a filament that they secrete. When the construction of a nest is finished, it hunts spiders and stuns them with its venom. Then he introduces them to the nest and proceeds with the laying of eggs and then plugs the nest with mud. In this way, when the larva is born, it eats the spiders that its mother has previously left it. It can also be that prey capture begins once the egg is laid. In any case, the captured prey will be food for the young during the fall and winter. Then, after becoming a chrysalis,
The nests of the potter wasps are quite peculiar. Most of them build nests in the shape of Roman amphorae , hence the common name of the potter wasp, made by molding the clay and combined with their own sage that they use as cement. Through the use of its legs, the wasp checks that the wall has a uniform thickness. Finally, they close the construction with a narrow mouth like a lip. They are usually light or dark brown in color and are 25 mm long. Their preferred nesting sites are shaded and sheltered areas. And it is that these wasps are one of the few insects that make mud nests .
There are also other wasps that use cavities in the ground or take advantage of nests that have been abandoned by other wasps or other similar insects . In addition, they can use parts of the plants to make their nests or to turn them directly into them.
Potter wasp stings are usually mild , compared to other wasps, such as the Asian hornet , which you can learn all about at this link. Instead of causing death to their prey, the inoculated poison paralyzes them. As for humans, the potter wasp does not have a powerful effect: it induces inflammation in the area where it has bitten and causes some pain , similar to that caused by the sting of the common wasp.
If they keep their distance and are not disturbed, there should be no danger of being stung. However, the risk of being stung is caused by the approach to their territory, so that their preference for building nests near houses can cause accidental situations.
To relieve a potter wasp sting , simply put ice on the sting area or cool towels to reduce swelling and soothe pain. In the event that the stinger has fully entered the skin and has remained, it is recommended to proceed with its removal as soon as possible to avoid further injury and infections.
However, if you are allergic to wasp stings , the situation can be significantly complicated, and it is then necessary to use antihistamines and visit a doctor in case the allergic reaction could lead to anaphylactic shock.