Other Common Names
Red spider wasps (note: also applies to several members of Ageniella and Priocnessus)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
2 spp. in our area (T. ferrugineus and T. unicolor).
This genus belongs to the subfamily Pompilinae, tribe Pompilini and is identified by the following characters:
Spines at apex of hind tibia of unequal length and spacing.
Hind tibia always smooth in nearctic species.
Dorsal side of hind femur with at least a few spine pits.
Pocket in the basioposterior corner of the third discal cell.
Labrum at least partially concealed.
Females of this genus possess a tarsal comb.
This genus is characterized by the following:
Anal vein of posterior wing meeting the media at or before the origin of the cubitus.
Front with a blunt tubercle between the antennal orbits.
Pronotum with a median impression.
Integument mostly ferruginous with some black (except one all black subspecies of T. ferrugineus.
Transcontinental. T. unicolor is restricted to the western states.
Varied, but they are usually found in open habitats.
In the northern states mainly June through September, probably longer in the south.
Adults are often found taking nectar from flowers (Daucus, Pastinaca, and Eryngium). Females provision nests mainly with Lycosids.
Females are fossorial or partly fossorial. They will often construct a cell within a rock pile or near the foundation of an old building. In much of the country there is one generation per year, possibly two in the south.
The only other pompiline genus marked with this much ferruginous is Poecilopompilus
Poecilopompilus algidus algidus
There are, however, ferruginous pepsine species in the genera Ageniella
Ageniella coronata (left) and Priocnessus nuperus (right)
Evans, H.E. 1950. A taxonomic study of the nearctic spider wasps belonging to the tribe pompilini, Part I. Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 75: 133-270.
Krombein, K.V. 1979. Pompilidae, pp. 1523-1571. In Krombein, K.V., P.D. Hurd, Jr., D.R. Smith, and B.D. Burks, eds. Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. Vol. 2 Apocrita (Aculeata). Smithsonian Inst. Press, Washington, D.C.