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sphecid wasp - Astata - male

sphecid wasp - Astata - Male
Canton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
July 20, 2005

Male Astata sp.
This is one of the stinkbug-hunting sphecid wasps in the genus Astata. They are very sexually dimorphic. Males like this have holoptic eyes (the compound eyes meet at the crown of the head), and broader wings than the females. They may even be colored differently. Males are territorial and will stake out an elevated weed or leaf to perch on, dashing out to chase off other insects and intercept females, then return. Great behavioral clue that photographers should tune into:-)

Astata sp.
This one fooled me, it doesn't look anything like the other stink bug killing wasps I've seen. Thanks for the ID and the great explanation even I can understand.

Not a robber
May even be hymenopteran. Can't see halteres. And there may be a second wing pair under there.

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