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Wasp - Pseudomasaris basirufus

Wasp - Pseudomasaris basirufus
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area - Coronado National Forest, Pima County, Arizona, USA
May 8, 2010

Congratulations, Tom, for the find! But species inconclusive -
This is where to observe most of the females, in Phacelia flowers. It is where most of the females collect pollen and nectar for their offspring.
As to species, while the males of P. basirufus and maculifrons are very distinct from each other (antennae differ; eye distance differs considerably - much closer together in maculifrons), the females are more difficult to separate. Color is rather variable, with both spp. showing at least some red. The diagnostic characters that separate females of these two spp. are:
1.a small central white spot on the frons of maculifrons, but not in basirufus;
2.mandibles with at least a small white spot in basirufus, but brown mandibles in maculifrons.
Neither of those characters are visible in this photo, so I'd say it could be either one since both spp. occur in Pima County.
Lastly, maculifrons is larger on average. This individual seems on the slightly larger side, but we can't tell with certainty.

Moved from ID Request.

Or might it be...
a Pollen Wasp (Masarinae)? It looks a lot like Pseudomasaris basirufus.

A possibility to consider, at least, while waiting for the experts.

thats it! I had fun that phot
thats it! I had fun that photo before but couldnt find it when I uplaoded this one.

Not so fast....
I think this is more likely the female of P. maculifrons, the males of which Margarethe and I photographed hilltopping earlier in the year. Aside: Would really enjoy meeting you the next time you are out here! I know I could learn a lot about photography from you :-)

Hey Eric
I am not sure if I agree it is a female. It seems to really match the other species. Heck even the follow it is pollinating on looks the same.

I will let you know the next time I come out....likely in the fall. Take care!


Definitely a female, Tom
...from the relatively short length of the antennae, and their somewhat smaller, narrower "clubs". Compare to the male below:


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