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Genus Ammophila

Thread-waisted wasp - Ammophila Ammophila Is this an Ammophila species ? - Ammophila Ammophila nigricans, yes? - Ammophila nigricans thread-waisted wasp - Ammophila Flying in and out of burrow - Ammophila procera Wasp with orange and black abdomen - Ammophila Ammophila pictipennis
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)
No Taxon (Apoidea sans Anthophila – Apoid Wasps)
Family Sphecidae (Thread-waisted Wasps)
Subfamily Ammophilinae
Genus Ammophila
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
revised in (1)
Explanation of Names
Ammophila W. Kirby 1798
'sand lover'
62 spp. in our area, ~240 total(1)
11‒38 mm (mostly 20‒25 mm)
see (1)
in Podalonia, the bulbous part of the abdomen is bent upward and lies above petiole; in Ammophila the abdomen is typically straight or bent downward —see Figs. A & C in (2)
Podalonia vs. Ammophila
Generally, males have weaker reddish markings than females, are more slender, and lack a tarsal rake on the front legs.
Holarctic; widespread in NA
Summer into early fall. In NC, Apr‒Nov (depending on species), typically May‒Oct(3); in MI, Jun‒Oct, typically Jul‒Aug(4)
Adults visit flowers. Larva feed on caterpillars and sawfly lavae provisioned by the female.
Life Cycle
Parasitoids on caterplillars and sawflies. A burrow is dug by the female and an egg is laid in the paralyzed host in the burrow. May be several generations per year.
Behavior described in (1)
Print References
Stevens L.E., Menke A.S. (2014) Biogeography of Ammophila (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae) in the Grand Canyon ecoregion, southwestern USA. Western N. Am. Naturalist 74: 216‒222. (Full text)
Works Cited
1.The Ammophila wasps of North and Central America (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae)
Arnold S. Menke. 2020. Ammophila Research Institute: Bisbee, Arizona.
2.Sphecid wasps of the world: a generic revision
Richard Mitchell Bohart, Arnold S. Menke. 1976. University of California Press.
3.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
4.The Sphecid Wasps of Michigan (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae: Sphecinae), by M.F. O'Brien