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Genus Calopompilus

Wasp - Calopompilus maculipennis - female Calopompilus feroculis - female Tarantula hawk? - Calopompilus pyrrhomelas what is this? - Calopompilus fortis - female Calopompilus? - Calopompilus pyrrhomelas Spider wasp - Calopompilus maculipennis Calopompilus maculipennis? - Calopompilus maculipennis - female Calopompilus deceptus? - Calopompilus deceptus
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 Pompiloidea (Spider Wasps, Velvet Ants and allies)
Family Pompilidae (Spider Wasps)
Subfamily Pepsinae
Tribe Pepsini (Tarantula-hawk Wasps and Allies)
Genus Calopompilus
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Calopompilus Ashmead, 1900
= Chirodamus Haliday, 1837 in part (see the comment here from Nick Fensler on 1 July, 2006)
Numbers
8 spp. in our area:(1)
1. Calopompilus albopilosus: NY to GA, WV
4. Calopompilus fortis: NY south to SC
5. Calopompilus heiligbrodtii: TX
6. Calopompilus maculipennis: AK, AL, GA, KS, MI, MO, NC
7. Calopompilus pyrrhomelas: BC; AZ, CA, ID, NM, NV, OR, UT
8. Calopompilus validus: AL, FL, GA, NC, SC
Size
8-25 mm body length, females>males.
6-18 mm forewing length(2)
Identification
Characters of the subfamily Pepsinae, tribe Pepsini: spines at apex of hind tibia of even spacing and length, transverse groove in second sternite, lacks pocket in basioposterior corner of third discal cell, serrate hind tibia in both sexes (usually less pronounced in males), labrum at least partially exposed, crease on side of first tergite, sides of first tergite in dorsal view straight or slightly convex.
Rather distinctive in the nearctic because of the following characters: rather short, stocky legs and antennae (second flagellar segment about 2.4X as long as wide, usually much longer in most other pepsines), short, flat clypeus and the brush of hairs on the inner side of the hind tibia is not interrupted or narrowed.

Overview of Species
Unlike similar genera, none of our Calopompilus have orange antennae. Species follow the following trends based coloration:(2)

A. Wings orange, legs and abdomen black
C. deceptus (male with secondary subapical black spot)
C. heiligbrodtii
C. pyrrhomelas

B. Wings black, abdomen red, legs also red in male
C. validiis

C. Wings black, legs and abdomen black
C. albopilosus (subhyaline wings in male)
C. feroculis
C. fortis

D. Wings black with orange spot, legs and abdomen black
C. macidipennis
Range
Transcontinental but individual species usually have much more restricted ranges.
Habitat
Varied. Several species strictly inhabit woods.
Season
Mid-to late summer to early autumn (mid-June through September/early October in eastern species). Most individuals that persist late into the year are females.
Food
Adults occasionally visit flowers. Prey is known for only one species, C. pyrrhomelas (Antrodiaetus pacificus).
Remarks
This genus is generally uncommon and rarely encountered. That is probably why so little is known about their biology. Prey and nesting behavior are not known for all but one species.
Works Cited
1.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.
2.Nearctic Wasps of the Subfamilies Pepsinae and Ceropalinae
Henry K. Townes. 1957. Smithsonian Institute Press (Bulletin 209).