Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Upcoming Events

Discussion of 2018 gathering

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington


Family Sphecidae - Thread-waisted Wasps

Sphex ichneumoneus? 01a - Sphex ichneumoneus Abdomen raised - Ammophila pictipennis - male Wasp  - Prionyx - male wasp - Ammophila procera - female Orange-legged clear-winged wasp - Sphex nudus Id help needed - Mud dauber wasp variant ? - Sceliphron caementarium Ammophila procera? - Ammophila Sceliphron caementarium? - Sceliphron caementarium - female
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)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
classification here follows(1)
125 spp. in 11 genera in our area(2), >720 species in 19 genera worldwide(3); 21 spp. in Canada(4); 44 spp. in e. US(5) (MI list(6), FL list)
Overview of our fauna:
Family Sphecidae
Subfamily Sceliphrinae
Subfamily Sphecinae
Body 10-30 mm
Abdomen long and stalked (petiolate), giving the body a "thread-waisted" appearance; middle tibiae with two apical spurs; body may be all black (sometimes tinged with metallic blue or green), black and red, yellow and black, or white and black.
Much of the world
Most species nest in the ground, usually in areas with sparse or no vegetation; some build aerial nests of mud; a few nest in hollow stems or abandoned bee burrows in logs
Larvae feed on paralyzed arthropods (the host varies according to wasp species) provided by adult; common hosts include spiders, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. Adults feed on nectar from flowers and extrafloral nectaries, honeydew, and body fluids of their prey.
Life Cycle
most are solitary nesters; some species are kleptoparasitic, using prey caught by other wasps in order to provide it to their own larvae.
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