One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A solitary wasp that lays its eggs in a cavity which it seals with mud or similar material.
Several genera in the family Eumenidae
- ‘Another solitary wasp, the mason wasp, chooses a flat surface and begins by building a series of arches out of mud or clay.’
- ‘The mason wasp is a solitary insect, and makes her cell either in bricks, mortar, stone, or any other hard substance that happens to suit her.’
- ‘The Purbeck mason wasp is a large, red, black-and-yellow mason wasp which provisions its nest with the caterpillars of a tortricid moth which feeds on heathers.’
- ‘The mason-wasp does not furnish the cell she has thus constructed with pollen and honey, like the solitary bees, but with living caterpillars.’
- ‘Female searches diligently on walls and banks for mason wasp nests which she enters, if owner is absent, to parasitise the larvae.’
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