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Photo#418754
Pseudomasaris possibly vespoides - Pseudomasaris vespoides

Pseudomasaris possibly vespoides - Pseudomasaris vespoides
6 mi NW Lyons, Boulder County, Colorado, USA
June 28, 2010
These three Pseudomasaris wasps, possibly males, were among 6 sleeping in Penstemon virgulti flowers behind our house. There only are about 12-15 stems here, but in years past we have seen them sleeping in these same few flowers. They were still asleep at 7:30 am when I saw a female going to all the unoccupied flowers collecting pollen. The next night (last night) I only found 3 in the flowers.

Images of this individual: tag all
Pseudomasaris possibly vespoides - Pseudomasaris vespoides Pseudomasaris possibly vespoides - Pseudomasaris vespoides - female Pseudomasaris possibly vespoides - Pseudomasaris vespoides - female

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

Lynn, these are marvellous photos!
And yes, they are P. vespoides. In the sleeper photo (cloudy day, or early?) the two bottom ones are males, the top right one is a female.
I've never heard of a Penstemon virgulti (Freudian slip, thinking of Apodemia?), and can't find that name in any of my CO books.
I don't have time right now to check on the plant.
I'm heading up to our mountains in a few minutes, hoping to see more P. zonalis, coquilletti, edwardsii. Observed a bunch of P. wheeleri yesterday in Turricula parryi.
Even though these images are of different individuals, I suggest to keep them all together as a series.

 
Penstemon virgatus ssp asagrayi
Thanks again for your compliments and for positively identifying P. vespoides not only to species but to sex! I though the top right abdominal tip looked different. I'm sorry about the incorrect plant name. Your are right--I confused it with Apodemia virgulti!
In the Krombein et al 1979 catalog, neither Pseudomasaris vespoides nor any other Pseudomasaris is listed on Penstemon virgatus, but it does grow right along side P. secundiflorus and blooms maybe a week or two later.
I envy you all your species of these wonderful pollen wasps!

 
Thanks, Lynn -
P. virgatus was one of the spp. I had thought of. Your posts caught me about a week after starting to compile a list of Penstemon spp. recorded for P. vespoides. I don't have the time to travel as much as I used to a few years ago, otherwise I would have liked to check on a number of places, not just for this sp. but other, Phacelia using Pseudomasaris as well.
I wouldn't be too much concerned with whether these wasps are seen only on the reported plant species. We're not always in the woods when a tree falls.
If you travel to higher altitudes early this month, possibly into August, you might be able to find Pseudomasaris marginalis in Phacelia, i.e. P. sericea.
P. zonalis should be seen this month (saw some yesterday in the San Gabriels), also into August depending on altitude and flowering of Phacelia food source. This species is generally found above 1800m (~6000ft), with records for Boulder County.

 
Phacelia heterophylla
When you mentioned P. marginalis and P. zonitis in Boulder Co, I thought, I've never seen a Phacelia around here. So I looked it up in my CO books. Sure enough, 5 species are recorded for Boulder Co. Four are subalpine to montane (and we live at about 6500' in the foothills). But one of them I did recognize--Scorpion Flower. I thought it was genus Hydrophyllum along with H. fendleri which we do have here. But no, it is Phacelia heterophylla. So, we could have P. marginalis and P. zonitis right here! Thanks for pointing this out to me! I don't see it very often (and I can't believe I have no photograph of it). Flowers are white instead of the usual Phacelia purples. Plants --and insects--are a lot easier to find if I'm actively looking for them. And so I shall.

 
Good luck, Lynn -
would be great to see some photos from your area. There are records for both Pseudomasaris zonalis and P. marginalis for Boulder County. I've e-mailed some site suggestions.

Just had to pipe up . . .
and add my exclamation of awe. I saw that Harsi had commented on this wonderful photo and thought that my untrained gushing would amount to little. So I just 'subscribed.'

But, I couldn't contain my enthusiasm, so here's my 'Wow'!

 
Thanks, Cathy!
Such a beautiful subject! My especial enthusiasm is insect/plant relationships in all forms, feeding, nesting, sleeping. . . .

Excellent photo!
Hi, Lynn. This image made me smile -- wonderful documenting of behavior and expertly photographed.

 
Thanks, Harsi.
We are enjoying them so much. We are getting overcast here, so I went out a few minutes ago to see if they were settling in for the night. No, but a solitary female was visiting flowers collecting pollen.

 
The one that has pulled its h
The one that has pulled its head of the flower is a female. The male antennae are much longer and even more clubbed. Great pictures!

 
Male and female sleepers
How interesting that both sexes are sleeping in these Penstemon flowers. Tonight we just came in from doing a census of sleeping wasps. Only one flower was occupied! Either adults have a very short life or they have moved uphill somewhere where flowers are fresher or more abundant. The few flowers we have came in on their own.

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