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

Subfamily Masarinae - Pollen Wasps

Pseudomasaris vespoides - male Wasp - Pseudomasaris - female Pseudomasaris wheeleri - male Pseudomasaris vespoides - male Pseudomasaris wheeleri - male Pollen-Wasp on Phacelia ramosissima - Pseudomasaris coquilletti - female Odd Wasp - Pseudomasaris edwardsii - male Pseudomasaris coquilletti nest - Pseudomasaris coquilletti - male - female
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)
Superfamily Vespoidea (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps and allies)
Family Vespidae (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps)
Subfamily Masarinae (Pollen Wasps)
14 spp. in our area (all Pseudomasaris), ~300 spp. in 14 genera of 2 tribes total(1)
10-20 mm
Yellow (or white) and black. FW with only two submarginal cells. Clubbed antennae are distinctive.
key to NA spp. in(2)
worldwide; in NA, western(1)
larvae (unlike those of other vespids) feed on pollen and nectar
Life Cycle
The females make nests of mud or sand attached to twigs or rocks. They provision the nests with pollen and nectar and lay their eggs. The eggs hatch into larvae that eat the provisions, then pupate and emerge as adults.
Print References
Bradley J.C. (1922) The taxonomy of the Masarid wasps, including a monograph of the North American species. UC Publ. Entomol. 1: 369-464. (Full text)
Works Cited
1.Checklist of species of the subfamily Masarinae (Hymenoptera, Vespidae)
Carpenter J.M. 2001. American Museum novitates 3325. 40 pp.
2.New records of Pseudomasaris Ashmead (Hymenoptera:Vespoidea, Masaridae), with notes on P. phaceliae Rohwer and P. cazieri Bohart
Richards O.W. 1966. Proc. R. Ent. Soc. London (B) 35(3-4): 47-55.
3.The Pollen Wasps
Sarah K. Gess. 1996.