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Sphecid wasp, Alysson sp. - Alysson melleus - female

Sphecid wasp, Alysson sp. - Alysson melleus - Female
Harvard, Worcester County, Massachusetts, USA
September 4, 2004
This one was carrying a leafhopper, does it parasitize the leafhopper, or is that a meal?

resembles Nomada bees.

Alysson melleus
This is A. melleus, the only species of Alysson in the northeast with red mesosoma.

A. melleus
Matthias, thanks for the species identification.

Wasp with Prey
I'm not familiar with this particular species, but the usual thing is for the wasp to sting the prey to paralyze it, then drag the prey into her burrow. Eggs are laid on or in the prey and the hatchings have something to eat when they hatch--something living!

Nice photo. I haven't seen a wasp with hopper before. Some species specialize in spiders, some in katydids, some in other prey, and I wouldn't be surprised if this species were a hopper specialist.


Stephen Cresswell
Buckhannon, WV

Thanks Stephen
That's what I thought, but I'm not familiar with these either. It's the only one I've seen, and Eric Eaton identified it for me.

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