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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Photo#1219362
Mrs. P. rubra-group (ventral) - Pepsis thisbe - female

Mrs. P. rubra-group (ventral) - Pepsis thisbe - Female
Tonopah Desert, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
May 30, 2015
Size: 41mm
These are images of a Spider Wasp that I believe is most likely a female Pepsis thisbe. She has some wing damage, with most of the dark-submarginal band missing, which makes the species ID somewhat tricky. However, some of it can be seen on the hind wings.
Note, the large sized body, small AE index and prominent carina on the propodeum helps to rule out most of the look-alikes.
Full size image: Click Here
ID info:
Keying to Species in the Genus Pepsis: Vardy (2004)(1)
Sex = ♀ Female (10 flagellomeres & 6 abdominal segments)
AE index (antenna F1/eye-gap)x100 = about 85
1. - Radius meets costa at a very shallow angle; front femur without coarse hair below; lateral extension of sternite S2 groove well developed; propodeum PTC usually very strong (P. rubra-group) = 2
2. - Forewing colored = 3
3. - If forewing SMC3 very short, other characters not coinciding with South American species (North American species) = 4
4. - MPN and adjacent part of propodeum with at least some of the transverse carinae coarser, and at least slightly shining; Species usually smaller; color forms and localities not coinciding with South American species (North American species) = 5
5. - Forewing lacks bright silver markings (North American species) = 9
9. - Forewing mainly clear bright amber, orange or red; infuscation only at extreme base, usually an apical border, and sometimes slightly in the outermost cells = 14
14. - If dark border of fore wing is indistinct, it becomes markedly darker by costa = 15 (damaged)(other features inconsistent with Pepsis pallidolimbata)
15. - Forewing with extreme apex pale beyond a dark border = 16 (damaged)(other features inconsistent with Pepsis chrysothemis, the only other species available at this point in the key, at this geographic location)
16. - Apex of forewing merely pale, poorly defined, pale area extending posterad (North American species) = 17
17. - Dark border of forewing narrow, less than width of SMC3; AE index 81-93; Medium species (BL 25-42); range is USA to southern Mexico = species thisbe Lucas 1895
Keying to orange-winged Pepsis rubra-group females in the USA:
1. - Head with vertex and temples at least moderately swollen; Forewing with infuscation at or near apex; Antenna usually more robust, AE index 81-100; Often larger species (BL 20-42); usually with bright orange-red wings = 2
2. - Vertex usually strongly swollen; Occipital carina reaching pregular suture unattenuated; Carinae of posterior face of propodeum at most slightly obsolescent in central area; Larger species (BL 25-42) = species thisbe Lucas 1895

Images of this individual: tag all
Mrs. P. rubra-group (ventral) - Pepsis thisbe - female Mrs. P. rubra-group (ventral thorax) - Pepsis thisbe - female Mrs. P. rubra-group (ventral head) - Pepsis thisbe - female Mrs. P. rubra-group (mandibles) - Pepsis thisbe - female Mrs. P. rubra-group (ventral abdomen) - Pepsis thisbe - female Mrs. P. rubra-group (wings) - Pepsis thisbe - female Mrs. P. rubra-group (dorsal thorax) - Pepsis thisbe - female Mrs. P. rubra-group (lateral) - Pepsis thisbe - female Mrs. P. rubra-group (lateral thorax) - Pepsis thisbe - female Mrs. P. rubra-group (hind-wing) - Pepsis thisbe - female Mrs. P. rubra-group (dorsal head) - Pepsis thisbe - female Mrs. P. rubra-group (eye lines) - Pepsis thisbe - female

Moved
Moved from Tarantula Hawks.

After filming ID videos of a female Pepsis chrysothemis and also a female Pepsis pallidolimbata, as well as several others in this genus, I'm much more confident in the ID. (images pending)

Moved
Moved from Spider Wasps.