Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Fall Fund Drive


Family Sphecidae - Thread-waisted Wasps

 Chalybion californicum - Chalybion californicum Chlorion aerarium Black and Yellow Mud Dauber- I do believe! - Sceliphron caementarium wasp - Sceliphron caementarium Wasp ID? - Podalonia Wasp for ID - Sceliphron caementarium Wasp . . . . Or? - Sceliphron caementarium - male
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
This site follows the classification of Pulawski (2010)(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 North America and the world.
Most species nest in the ground, usually in areas that have sparse or no vegetation; some species construct aerial nests composed of mud; a few species nest in hollow plant stems or abandoned bee burrows in logs.
Larvae feed on the paralyzed bodies of a variety of arthropods (the host varies according to wasp species) provided to them by adult wasps; 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
The large majority of species 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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