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Photo#1074570
Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (ventral) - Sphex lucae - female

Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (ventral) - Sphex lucae - Female
Tonopah Desert, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
May 2, 2015
Size: 23mm
These are images of a Thread-waisted Wasp, with dark wings and a body that resembles several wasps. Here are five of the important character groups that can be seen in these images. Please note that I'm including four sunlit images to help show some of the colors, shapes and reflections.
Here is a link to her video: ♀ Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan - Sphex lucae

Sexing info:(female)
flagellomeres: (antennae segments)
10 = female, 11 = male
tergites & sternites: (abdominal segments)
6 = female, 7 = male
tarsal rake on forelegs: (comb or long spines)
females only

1) - The prominent wing cells are:
2nd submarginal cell = almost square
large discoidal cell = all five edges straight and not curved
three discoidal cells meet in a nearly symmetrical "Y" (with a slight curve)
2) - The body size and color and the thick leg spurs:
The abdomen does not extend very far beyond the wings. The vivid orange & black body coloring pattern is not a very reliable character, at the tribe level.
The legs are all black and some edges are shiny. The hind legs have one very thick tibial spur and the other [skinny] spurs seem to be broken off. I did not include the views of this apparent damage. The mid-legs have two smaller tibial spurs.
3) - The head and thorax have a slight covering of dark or grayish hairs.
4) - The mandible has one sharp edge and most of the extra views of the black maxilla & white labium were not included here.
5) - The antennae have 10 flagellomeres, if I'm counting and spelling things correctly.
Full Size Image: Click Here
The discoverlife.org website keys point me to a few of the wasps in the genus Palmodes or Prionyx, but the wings seem to more closely match Isodontia or Sphex. I expect that Dr. Ascher or Eric Eaton should be able to help me further define the choices and they may be able to see more features than the ones that I have listed here.
NOTE: This wasp was alive and active. The right hind leg has a tiny white oval showing here, at the position of the small missing spur.

Images of this individual: tag all
Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (ventral) - Sphex lucae - female Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (ventral abdomen) - Sphex lucae - female Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (ventral thorax) - Sphex lucae - female Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (ventral head) - Sphex lucae - female Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (dorsal)  - Sphex lucae - female Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (dorsal thorax) - Sphex lucae - female Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (wings) - Sphex lucae - female Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (dorsal bright) - Sphex lucae - female Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (head & thorax) - Sphex lucae - female Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (head) - Sphex lucae - female Thread-waisted Wasp Body Scan (lateral abdomen) - Sphex lucae - female

Moved

ID contact from Eric!
I contacted Eric Eaton and he informed me that:
"Hi, Bob:

Interesting work you are doing. The one here is a female Sphex lucae, no question...."

Afterwards, I went back over all of the images in that species with any good views of the parts of the female wasps and tried to find a difference in the wings, body, head, etc, and everything seems to match her perfectly. Based on Eric's message and my own judgments, I'm now confident enough to move her there. Also, whenever I finish the video, I will add in a link to it into the text of this image, for everyone interested in seeing her come alive. Thanks for your help!

Moved for expert attention
Moved from ID Request.

 
Thanks
Ken, thanks for recognizing & categorizing all of the cool stuff! We filmed an important Velvet Ant video that same day and I'm reviewing that family and his views today and maybe for a few days, before my next post.