Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Genus Ammophila

Thread waisted wasp of some sort - Ammophila Ichneumon Wasp - Ammophila wrightii An Amazing Rendezvous - Ammophila wasp - Ammophila nigricans - female Ammophila - male  Ammophila - Ammophila - female Ammophila? - Ammophila wrightii Ammophila ferruginosa? - Ammophila - 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)
No Taxon (Apoid Wasps (traditional Sphecidae))
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 (most species 20-25 mm)
see (1)
in Podalonia, the bulbous part of the abdomen usually bent upward and lies above petiole; in Ammophila the abdomen is typically straight or bent downward --see Figs. A & C in (2)
Ammophila vs Podalonia
Generally, males have weaker reddish markings than females, are more slender, and lack a tarsal rake on the front legs.
Identification to species difficult.
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 sawflies provisioned by the adult 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
Brockmann (1985) on tool use in Sphecinae
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