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Euodynerus bidens - female

Euodynerus bidens - Female
O'Leno State Park, Alachua County, Florida, USA
May 26, 2005

Euodynerus bidens
This is a female Euodynerus bidens, a dead ringer of Monobia quadridens. It is amazing how these two species - even though they belong to different genera - are extremely similar. E. bidens has large white spots on the propodeum (see picture), which are absent (or rarely present, but then very small) in Monobia quadridens.

Very interesting
An extreme case of mullerian mimicry. Other members of the same ring (Pseudodynerus quadrisectus, Euodynerus megera) are far from such an accurate, so confusing, similarity! One can maybe add that Monobia lacks the small, rounded white spots on the temples too.
An ecological link between the two taxa seems likely, e.g. E. bidens routinely using old Xylocopa nests to rear its own brood, just like Monobia ? The mimick seems to be rarer than its model anyway, since this one is the only picture of it in this Guide until now:
This species should be given its own page.

Not sure it is a hornet. Looks more like one of the potter wasp group. May be harvesting some mud as we peak in on its life.

Monobia quadridens.
This is one of the few distinctively-colored mason wasps. It is also among the largest. They paralyze caterpillars for their offspring, and stash them in abandoned carpenter bee borings.

Thanks. In the right light, the wings appear rather bluish too. I've only seen them in wet spots.

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