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TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData

Family Sphecidae - Thread-waisted Wasps

Wasp - Isodontia elegans - female Black Wasp - Sphex pensylvanicus Ammophila? - Eremnophila aureonotata Wasp ID [=Sphex? nudus??] Request - Sphex nudus - female Prioniyx atratus or subatratus? - Prionyx - female Blue Mud Wasp? - Chalybion californicum - male sphecid 2 - Chalybion californicum Black wasp with red legs - Isodontia auripes
Classification
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 (traditional Sphecidae))
Family Sphecidae (Thread-waisted Wasps)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
classification here follows(1)
Numbers
125 spp. in 11 genera in our area(2), almost 800 spp. in 18 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
Size
Body 10-30 mm
Identification
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. Males have no tarsal rake, 11 flagellomeres, and 7 gastral segments. Females have a tarsal rake, 10 flagellomeres, and 6 gastral segments.


Sceliphrinae: Chalybion wing venation


Chloriontinae: Chlorion wing venation


Sphecinae: Prionyx (left, Prionicini), Isodontia (center, Sphecini), Sphex (right, Sphecini) wing venation


Ammophilinae: Ammophila wing venation
Range
Much of the world
Habitat
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
Food
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.
Print References
(7)