Great Potter Wasp - Delta unguiculatum

Scientific Name: Delta unguiculatum. (Syn Eumenes unguiculata, D. unguiculata.) Eumenidae or Vespidae subfamily Eumeninae.

English Name: Great Potter Wasp.  

French Name: Eumène unguiculé.

5 Key Characters:
  • a large black, yellow and chestnut brown wasp (18 - 25 mm long).
  • very distinct 'wasp waist'.
  • first abdominal segment bell shaped (between the thorax and the rest of the abdomen).  
  • makes a mud nest that looks like a random dob of mortar, often with a little pot rim shaped entrance, full of paralysed moth caterpillars.
  • when at rest, the tinted wings are folded across one another down the length of the body.

Lookalikes: It is possible that beginners mistake this large species for the invasive alien Yellow-legged Asian Hornet Vespa velutina nigrithorax, which is a much darker, stockier species. 

Habitat: hot sunny places, even in the middle of towns. 

Adult Active Period: June-July-August.

Status: We are on the very northern edge of its range here, so it is uncommon.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:


  1. Beautiful, we have a different kind in my part of USA. Really very gentle.