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

Family Sphecidae - Thread-waisted Wasps

Sphecid wasp - Ammophila - female Unid Wasp - Podalonia thread-waisted wasp - Ammophila Ammophila sp. - Ammophila wasp - Isodontia auripes wasp 5100 - Podalonia Wasp type - Ammophila Ammophila
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 (Apoidea)- 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.
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)