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Photo#21773
Pseudomasaris vespoides - female

Pseudomasaris vespoides - Female
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, Los Angeles County, California, USA
April 20, 2003
Size: ≧ 24mm
Fell out of corolla of Penstemon spectabilis.

Species ID by Doug Yanega (Dept. of Entomology, Entomology Research Museum, UC Riverside, CA).

Images of this individual: tag all
Pseudomasaris vespoides - female Pseudomasaris vespoides - female

Masarinae
Just found a highly informative book on the Masarinae, including western North America's representatives:

The Pollen Wasps - Ecology and Natural History of the Masarinae. Gess, Sarah K. (1996) Harvard University Press.

Sarah Gess is Assistant Curator in the Department of Entomology of the Albany Museum, working in association with the Department of Entomology of Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.

Pseudomasaris
Thanks so much, Eric. I was quite certain it was some kind of vespid, but I just couldn't find any image with those clubbed antennae. I just have to find some good literature, any suggestions?
Now I'll pay special attention when around Penstemon!

 
Moved to guide
I had to create a new page. We didn't have any in this subfamily, so it is a nice addition. I am learning, too, since I am interested in flower visitors.

Pseudomasaris.
Wow! This is a female "pollen wasp" in the genus Pseudomasaris, family Vespidae, subfamily Masaridae. Our handful of species in North America are apparently associated ONLY with Penstemon, so even that information fits. Good notetaking! Great portrait showing the bizarre, clubbed antennae. Males have very long, clubbed antennae.

 
Pseudomasaris and flowers
Pseudomasaris species are also found foraging at a few other groups of flowers, including Phacelia and Eriodictyon, both members of the Hydrophyllacea. This may be a size-based association with larger species of Pseudomasaris using Penstemon and smaller species using the others. I'll post a (not outstanding) picture of a male Pseudomasaris vespoides.

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