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Genus Isodontia - Grass-carrying Wasps

Blue Wasp - Isodontia philadelphica Wasp ID Request - Isodontia Grass Carrying Wasp??? - Isodontia Sphecidae with pray - Isodontia elegans Grass-carrying Wasp - Isodontia Grass-carrying Wasp - Isodontia Grass-carrying Wasp - Isodontia Isodontia sp? - Isodontia - female
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon (Apoid Wasps (Apoidea)- traditional Sphecidae)
Family Sphecidae (Thread-waisted Wasps)
Subfamily Sphecinae
Tribe Sphecini
Genus Isodontia (Grass-carrying Wasps)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Isodontia Patton 1880
Numbers
6 spp. in 2 subgenera in our area(1), >60 spp. worldwide(2)
Identification
Medium-sized dark sphecids, often seen carrying grass to nests. C. auripes is distinctive (?) with its brown legs.
Range
Much of our area(3)
Habitat
Open areas, fields, grass
Season
in NC: I. auripes Jun-Oct, I. azteca May-Oct(4); Jul-Aug in MI(5)
Food
Adults take nectar. Larvae are fed Grillidae (particularly tree crickets) or other Orthoptera.(6)
Life Cycle
Females make nests in a tree, hollow stem or other cavity, divide into sections and close with grass. They provision with Orthoptera (Tettigoniidae, Gryllidae). Can be two generations per year (I. mexicana in PA)
1. Larva 2. Cocoon and food remnants in hollow stem 3. Adult female 4. Adult male. 5. Parasitic fly's puparia.


grass-carrying habits, nest(7); nesting behavior of I. harrisi(8)

Taken from the Internet Reference below (Penn State): The adult wasps emerge from their cocoons in early summer, mate, and the females locate a suitable nest site. She collects blades of grass and grass and hay stems to line the nest cavity. The wasp can be seen flying through the air with the blades trailing beneath her. She lands at the hole and enters, pulling the blade in behind her. After the nest is prepared, she hunts for tree crickets (i.e., Oecanthus sp.), captures and paralyses them with her sting, and transports them to the nest. She deposits eggs in the nest and the emerging larvae will feed on the living, but immobile crickets. When the larvae reach the appropriate size (in 4–6 days at 70–75° F.), they spin a cocoon and pupate. The adult wasps emerge in 2–3 weeks. In Pennsylvania, Isodontia mexicana typically produce two generations per year.
Remarks
These wasps commonly make their nest in the narrow track found above outer windows.
Internet References
I. mexicana fact sheet. Penn State U.
Dick Walton Natural History Services. Video of nesting behavior and parasites.
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Catalog of Sphecidae sensu lato
3.Ascher J.S., Pickering J. (2014) Discover Life bee species guide and world checklist (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila)
4.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
5.Sphecid Wasps of Michigan
6.Solitary Wasps: Behavior and Natural History (Cornell Series in Arthropod Biology)
Kevin M. O'Neill. 2000. Comstock Publishing.
7.The Wasps
Howard Ensign Evans, Mary Jane West Eberhard. 1970. University of Michigan Press.
8.Wasp Farm
Howard Ensign Evans. 1963. Comstock Publishing.