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wingless wasp - Pristepyris armiferus - female

wingless wasp - Pristepyris armiferus - Female
Canton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
April 15, 2006
Size: 10mm

Images of this individual: tag all
wingless wasp - Pristepyris armiferus - female wingless wasp - Pristepyris armiferus - female

Moved from Pristocerinae.

One of the wingless bethylids I believe.

wingess wasp
This must be the missing link between ants and wasps:-)
Do they sting, because I was handling it without incident?

Subfamily Pristocerinae
Maybe genus Pristocera itself, based on the typical, constricted, outline of the thorax.
Your statement about the missing link is interesting, because it has been thought by several former students that ants came from the same ancestral stock as Bethylidae. Nowadays, we know they are only very distantly related: ironically, the closest relatives of Bethylids are... very differently looking cuckoo-wasps!
It should be added that only females are wingless. Such apterous species are found in several subfamilies, not only Pristocerinae but Epyrinae and Sclerodermatinae too. Many of them are much smaller than this specimen, and have a light reddish or even yellowish color.
With a total length of 10 mm, this female would have inflicted a painful sting if angry, for even much smaller ones can pierce through human skin.

Thanks Richard
Related to cuckoo wasps, that's interesting. I'm glad she was in a good mood when I picked her up:-)

Yes, they sting.
From what I have read, they have a velvet ant-caliber sting! I don't know how that could be given their diminutive size, but I'm not willing to experiment:-) I had no idea some species were wingless. Great shots of both species, Tom.

i was stung by one
wouldn't rate it quite as high as velvet ants (i didn't drop it) but it still hurt

Glad it didn't sting
because I would have dropped it, and not gotten any pictures:-)
Thanks Eric.

Reminds me of
a wingless termite. I'm not saying that's what it is, though. I don't really have a clue.

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