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Species Triscolia ardens

Black Wasp, orange Ab - Triscolia ardens Wasp? - Triscolia ardens Scoliid on Milkweed from southern Chiricahua Mnts - Triscolia ardens - male Scoliid? - Triscolia ardens - male Scoliid? - Triscolia ardens - male large velvet ant? - Triscolia ardens - female Large black wasp, hairy red abdomen - Triscolia ardens - female Fuzzy, black & orange pollinator - Triscolia ardens - female
Classification
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 Scolioidea
Family Scoliidae (Scoliid Wasps)
Subfamily Scoliinae
Genus Triscolia
Species ardens (Triscolia ardens)
Other Common Names
Fire-tailed Scoliid Wasp
Explanation of Names
Triscolia ardens (Smith 1855)
Size
up to about 30 mm, noticeably larger than S. dubia haematodes
Identification
Forewing with three submarginal cells and a single recurrent vein which meets the posterior edge of the 2nd submarginal cell (see diagram here).(1) Wings very dark, violaceous; thorax entirely black; first two abdominal tergites mostly black, the remaining (posterior) tergites red and more bushy-hairy.(2)
Males have a pseudostinger with three narrow spines projecting slightly beyond the tip of abdomen; females lack such spines.
Range
TX, NM, AZ, CA; and south into Mexico.(2)(3)
Habitat
Desert, e.g. the Mojave and Colorado deserts of California(4)
Season
June to November
Remarks
Triscolia ardens is presumably the model for the dipteran mimic Mydas ventralis.
See Also
Scolia dubia haematodes is nearly identical in coloration but is separated in terms of wing venation and a smaller size.


Comparison of wing venation between Scolia (left) and Triscolia (right). The genus Scolia has 2 submarginal cells whereas the genus Triscolia has 3 submarginal cells.
Print References
Betrem J.G., Bradley J.C. (1964). Annotations on the genera Triscolia, Megascolia and Scolia (Hymenoptera, Scoliidae). Zoologische Mededelingen 40: 89-96. (Full text)
Works Cited
1.Grissell (2013): Scoliid Wasps of Florida
2.Scoliid Wasps of the Southwestern United States
MacKay W.P. 1987. Southwestern Naturalist 32(3): 357-362.
3.Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico
Karl V. Krombein, Paul D. Hurd, Jr., David R. Smith, and B. D. Burks. 1979. Smithsonian Institution Press.
4.The Scoliidae of California
Hurd P.D. 1952. Bull. Calif. Insect Survey 1(6): 141-152.