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The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female

The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - Female
Tonopah Desert, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
May 11, 2015
Size: 19mm
This is the first of six Wasps that I filmed on this day, in three different families. I filmed & released her twice that day. The others will be posted as time allows. (soon)
These are images of a female Spider Wasp in the tribe Aporini. I believe that she is one of the all dark females in the genus Psorthaspis. Please note that she may be a new species for the BugGuide.
Full size image: Click Here
ID info:
Gender - 6 abdominal segments and 10 flagellomeres = ♀
Hind tibia are not serate = Subfamily Pompilinae
Keying to Genus in the Subfamily Pompinlinae: (females) (1)
1a. - Pronotum streptaulus absent medially
1b. - Pronotum longer than mesoscutum = 2 (tribe = Aporini)
2a. - Forewing with 3 SMCs
2b. - Front femora not swollen = 3
3aa. - Eyes not setose
3bb. - Pronotum elongate & streptaulus present except medially
3cc. - Mandibles with a strong fimbriate groove beneath = Genus Psorthaspis Banks 1912
Species level info:
The base integument color is all black. The surface reflects a little blue in bright light. The wings are wholly infuscated. = Species planata Fox (1892)
The clypeus is half-circle shaped, with no visible suture lines, all the way up the mid-line of her face. (similar to others in this genus)
She does not have a tarsal rake, but the foreleg's tarsi have three or four short spines. (0.5mm or less)
She has several large, nearly parallel & bumpy grooves on the lateral surfaces only, of her propodeum.
There is some minor damage to the left-side of her abdominal segment T2. (jagged fracture)

Images of this individual: tag all
The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 - Psorthaspis planata - female The Six Wasp Special - #1 of 6 (ocelli) - Psorthaspis planata - female

The Six Wasp Special - Three Different Wasp Families
Here is a clickable listing of all the Wasps that I filmed on that day.
Spider Wasps: #1. Psorthaspis planata: ♀ #5. Anoplius americanus ambiguus: ♀
Crabronid Wasps: #4. Philanthus multimaculatus: ♂ Square-headed Wasps (subfamily): #2. Tachytes distinctus: ♀ #3. Tachytes distinctus: ♂
Vespid Wasp: #6. Euodynerus annulatus: ♀

Moved from Psorthaspis morosa.

Moved from Psorthaspis.

Keying to the species of Psorthaspis:
Here is the species level keying that I have done: (Bradley 1944)
1b. - color entirely black, pubescence and tomentum blue, green or purple, antenna fossae not silvery, wings dark, not banded = 2
2a. - wings not covered in coppery scales = 3
3a. - ocellar distance ratio (a/c) is closer to 1.25 (see details below), eyes reaching top of head or nearly so = 6
6b. - area frontalis wide and flat-topped, continuous with spatium frontale and base of clypeus and on same plane of each, as in planata = morosa
Here is more information about step 3, of the above key:
Please note that I have added another image that shows the ocelli better, with a close up insert, diagramming these measures. (crude, but obvious)
Definitions from the key:
a. = hind ocelli to hind margin of head
b. = diameter of hind ocelli
c. = distance of hind ocelli apart
d. = least distance of hind ocelli from lateral eyes
This is a comparison of the actual distance ratios, from the type specimens of the key:
Please note that the second distance ratio should be easier to see in most people's images. (c. very close to d. on morosa & banksi, d. much greater than c. on planata)
(scale? from ocular micrometer)(ratios rounded to 2nd decimal)
morosa = pass
a/c - 35/27 = 1.30
d/c - 31/27 = 1.15
planata = fail
a/c - 40/23 = 1.74
d/c - 32/23 = 1.40
banksi = fail
a/c - 30/19 = 1.58
d/c - 30/30 = 1.00
Species-Groups & Descriptions:
This is some of the relevant information, from the description of Species-Group 1. morosa:
"black integument, microscopic purplish tomentum, dark wings"
"eyes reaching well up on to the vertex"
"the propodeum corrugated and its dorsal surface with lateral swellings overidden by corrugations"
These are some matching qualities from the description of the species Psorthaspis morosa:
"eyes inflated, but the anterior outline of the front, seen from above, in the same plane with their surface"
"area frontalis forming a broad flat-topped bridge between spatium frontale and disc of clypeus, in the same plane as each and all quite flat, smooth and polished"
"the surface of the clypeus absolutely flat and plate-like with no apical deflection whatsoever, the apical margin nearly truncate, the sides oblique"
"frontal fissure a very short impression at upper level of antennal fossae"
"propodeum with lateral swellings and behind them the lateral furrow, both overridden by corrugations"
The most likely species of this wasp is Psorthaspis morosa.

Moved from Aporini.

The Key to Tribe Aporini
This is a link to the keying info that Nick Fensler sent to me, from the website: (Bradley 1944)
Cornell Library - A Preliminary Revision of the Pompilinae (exclusive of the tribe Pompilini) of the Americas

This is what he told me:
"There's no good key to the North American species of Psorthapis (you can move to the genus is definitely a Psorthapis). I would put money on either P. macronotum or P. planata. Bradley's key can work if you use it in conjunction with the species descriptions. Some of the names/taxonomic arrangements aren't valid and it covers Mexican and Caribbean species, so you have to wade through those."

Keying from the above document: (Historical Tribe Level)
1a. - wings with 3SMCs = 2
2b. - mandibles have fimbriate groove, no tarsal comb, frontal fissure present, face divided by fine carina & flat-topped ridge = Ctenoceratini (former tribe of Psorthaspis & related genera)
Testing For Genera in Tribe Ctenoceratini: (from the descriptions)
Ctenocerus (type genus) - wings with basal pocket in discoidal cell = fail
Dromopompilus (distribution=Ethiopia?) - maxillary palpi not elongate = fail
Psorthaspis - maxillary palpi not elongate, pocket in discoidal cell = pass

Based on this information I'm now ready to move her down to genus level. I'm still looking over the species level keying information, at this time.

Moved from ID Request.

Do you really need to post so many?
Must the editors be burdened with moving or frassing them?

I do not mean to burden you!
John, since the IDs are very difficult in this genus and she is most likely a new species for us, I wanted to offer up the best that I could give.
Also, I filmed her twice, so I had a few hundred extra views to choose from and narrowing them down to less than twenty shots of any value, was the first step.
I will try to keep the rest of them under ten shots each. OK? Thanks

BTW - I will move & frass them. All you need to do is suggest something. I always respect your judgement.

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