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benificial insects

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  While looking up articles on beneficial insects I came across an amazingly talented little wasp.
           The Potter Wasp.
  The wasps not only make the cutest little mud nest shaped like a clay pot, they can also be a great help to gardeners by collecting catterpillars. like the ones that love to devour  your plants.  They sting the caterpillar making it imobile to take back and put inside their little pots. After collecting from 1 to 12 they will lay their egg inside the pot and seal it up. the catterpillars are kept alive, nice and fresh for the little larva to munch on... grissly I know. But benefical to plants and to gardeners who want to be the one eatting the plants, not the caterpillar.  
   They live, apparently, over much of the Northern American continent.  And have many kinds/types in this species. Why then have I never seen them or their nest?  Well, I may have seen them and just thought they were a mud dauber or another type of wasp.   I would really have loved to find a nest as a kid, since I was very fascinated with all bee and wasp nest...could be why I was always getting stung.  
These however are not aggresive, though they can sting,  and will not usuallly defend their nest like most bees and wasp.

  Here is a vid of a female working on her little pot nest. She is quick and so delicate and precise in her work.
And she does all this with a brain smaller than a dried pea.  I am jealous.

 So this year I will be on the look out for this awesome little creature. Let me know if you find one too.
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Location: South of Capricorn
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huh!! I have one of these in my carport (it is VERY TINY) and wondered what it was. Haven't seen any critters going in or out, I assumed it was one of our native bee species that started making a nest and then decided to go somewhere else. Thank you for sharing!!
Posts: 360
Location: Southern Germany
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I have an abandoned little clay pot on the wall of my bedroom (under the roof).

I could have put it away long ago, but I think it is cute and it is like a little ornament.

Here where I live you will often find the little clay pots in folds of the parasol, the coil of the hose or any little corner of the garden.
Posts: 171
Location: Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
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Thanks for sharing the video, that's very impressive! I found pots they made and apparently the babies had left. I also had many mud daubers coming to my frog pond to dig up clay balls. Hard working little fellows.
Potter wasp nests
Potter wasp nests
Mud dauber
Mud dauber
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