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Nesting Wasp - Glenostictia pictifrons - female

Nesting Wasp - Glenostictia pictifrons - Female
Ozark Mountains, Searcy County, Arkansas, USA
July 23, 2007
Size: 14mm
Once she had the hole covered, the wasp took a few seconds to tidy up the sand and then was gone. According to the times recorded by my camera, this whole series of events took just a little under two minutes. (Marvin)

Images of this individual: tag all
Nesting Wasp - Glenostictia pictifrons - female Nesting Wasp - Glenostictia pictifrons - female Nesting Wasp - Glenostictia pictifrons - female


Moved from Glenostictia.

Moved from Bembicinae.

Glenostictia pictifrons
I may be for some help. Usually I stick to Psocoptera taxonomy but the species you have photographed is one that I collected this summer and spent a great deal if time keying out, it turned out to be a new record for Canada…Glenostictia pictifrons; Family Crabronidae.

Since I was lucky enough to have a specimen in hand I could answer the genera question, the palpal formual is 6-4 which along with some head markings confirms it as Glenostictia (the palpal formula can’t be counted on a live wasp and was even hard with a pinned specimen). You can download a long key to take you to species from

Only G. pictifrons and G. emarginata are found east of the Mississippi. G. emarginata has very different abdominal and thoracic markings and preys on adult Lepidoptera. If you excavated the soil around were your photo was taken I am sure you would find paralyzed bombyliides (beeflies), the preferred prey of G. pictifrons. I wish I knew how to include a thumbnail photo so I could show you my wasp with its prey. Seeing your pictures on Bug Guide made me realise I was on the right path. Thanks.

A sand wasp in the genus Bembix

You may be right, David
But... In the discussion on the thumbnail you provided, Eric notes that Bembix "are usually darker than the other genera they are confused with (not always so, but often)." Too me, my specimen seems to be a more bright yellow. Also, the first antennae segments are yellow, and the markings on the pronotum (?) are different. It looks more like Glenostictia to me.

As I said, you may be right, but I think I'll let this one ride a while longer and see if anyone else wants to weigh in.

Good observations
I think you may be right. I just looked it up online and found that this genus too appears to form burrows for nests (1). The pattern on the thorax, and abdomen, along with the brighter colour match Glenostictia better than Bembix, but I am definitely not knowledgable enough to confirm one way or the other. Hopefully Dr. Ascher or another expert will weigh-in

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