If you look closely on branches and side of buildings/structures in the fall and winter, you may come across perfectly crafted tiny mud pots. No these miniature jugs are not made by tiny elves, they are the handy work of the Potter Wasp.
The female Potter Wasp are non - aggressive and are beneficial insects that helps control caterpillar population. The ceramic urn - shaped container is a mud nest and takes 1 - 2 hours to create. Once the pot is completed, she will stock it with 1 - 12 paralyzed caterpillars and lay a single egg at the top of the chamber. A container with 5 or more caterpillars will yield a female offspring and less then 5 will be a male. The nest is sealed with mud and the larva will develop safely inside it with sufficient nutrient to feast on until it is ready to break out of confinement. The female Potter Wasp will repeat the cycle as many times as it takes to lay all her eggs.