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Black and Orange Wasp - Pepsis menechma

Black and Orange Wasp - Pepsis menechma
Hollywood Cemetary, Richmond City County, Virginia, USA
July 7, 2008
Size: 20-25mm
These wasps (there were 4-6 on one flower bush) varied quite a bit in size; there seemed to be two groups of sizes- ones which seemed unusually big for a wasp, and ones that seemed about normal (bigger ones are females I'd guess). They also moved around quite a bit, so unfortunately this was as good a shot as I could get.

Pepsis menechma. Now if someone could photgraph one in Ohio...the old revision by P.D. Hurd indicates they are found in OH.

Did you look at my older pictures or something? I'm from Ohio! Should they be one of the exclusively southern OH species, or should they be more all over? I can look out for em when I'll be back in a few weeks.

what I have seen they are probably found only in the southern half of the state and any success in finding them would probably be the the southeastern parts of the state. The one record from Hurd, 1952 is from around the Columbus area.

This looks like a male Pepsis tarantula hawk. One species (they changed the species name from "elegans" to something else) does occur in that area, so that is my best guess. Females are not a great deal larger, but the antennae are different (tend to curl slightly, not straight like this). Nice find!

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