This is becoming one of my favorite wasps. I’m not sure why, but it is. I think I like the simplicity, along with the distinctiveness of the markings. It’s also such a fragile little thing. I say little, but it’s not all that tiny, measuring a good 15 to 20 mm in length. I suspect it’s also got a sting that I don’t want to experience.
Now that the mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) is starting to bloom in earnest, it’s starting to attract the usual suspects. So far, in addition to bumble bees and this potter wasp, I’ve seen a one four-toothed mason wasp (Monobia quadridens) and a few great black wasps (Sphex pensylvanicus).
On a somewhat irrelevant note, the Latin name for this genus of wasp always reminds me of the third play in the Oresteia, by Aeschylus, called The Eumenides. The Eumenides are “The Kindly Ones.” That’s irrelevant, however, as the genus in this case is a different, although similar word. They are apparently named for a Greek general and scholar, Eumenes of Cardia (ca. 362 BC—316 BC).