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- - Entypus unifasciatus - female

- - Entypus unifasciatus - Female
Lake Sutherland, San Diego County, California, USA
June 18, 2004
Size: 19 mm
Found on stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) near a reservoir in the foothills. Chamise chaparral and oak woodlands surroundings. 627 m.

Images of this individual: tag all
- - Entypus unifasciatus - female Pompilid - Entypus unifasciatus - female

Moved from Pepsini.

Another genus (other than Hemipepsis or Pepsis)?
Robyn...looking at your full-size image...note that the 1st recurrent vein meets the 2nd submarginal cell at about 1/4 its length away from its distal end. (It's often tricky to "see" this without careful scrutiny...because the shallow angle at which the veins meet gives the impression of them being "parallel near their intersection"...and the human eye/mind seems to like to (inaccurately) interpret that as if the meeting point were closer than it really is to the junction of the two adjacent veins bounding the postero-proximal corner of the 3rd submarginal cell!)

The above suggests this isn't Hemipepsis (where the 1st recurrent vein should meet within a tenth of the length of the 2nd submarginal cell from its distal end).

I haven't tried to run this through the keys (to genera and species) in Townes(1)(1957) yet, but I'm wondering if it may be Entypus? If not, I guess it would be one of the other (yet smaller) pepsine genera. It's good to have a specimen at hand in trying to work through those keys, as they often lists characters that aren't be discernible in photos.

Almost forgot that I had posted this image!
I was thinking of trying to work on these guys (I have three like them) after starting to feel more confident about Pepsis and Hemipepsis, and I think you're right - they might be from another genus altogether. Will revisit when the school week settles down. I have this specimen so that might help, as you say!

"Almost forgot"
Good point...I hadn't noticed how long ago it was since you'd found that wasp! Nice that you still have the specimen. And not only that, but nice it was prepared so well (i.e. spread, etc.). Working with a reference specimen like that will be a pleasure!

(Then again, all your specimens are beautifully prepared! :-)

Thanks : )
This does look like Entypus based on the venation pattern you describe elsewhere on the guide (based on where 1m-cu meets S2 - around 1/4 - or in this case, more like 1/3 - of the way from distal end). E. unifasciatus californicus seems to be the only one on BG with orange antennae and entirely orange wings. I re-uploaded a slightly lightened photo, too. I'm adding a close-up of the wing venation, too.

I tried working from your photos
...using Townes(1) and the online key to genera of New World Pepsinae from the "Pompilid Project".

And I pretty much got the same result, E. unifasciatus californicus. I left a comment under the post below for Nick Fensler, to hopefully get his ideas/insights here:

Thanks Aaron!

More Details
In working through the online Key to the New World Genera of Pepsinae at the "Pompilid Project" web site, and the key to the genera of Pepsinae in Townes(1), I was able to use info visible in the two photos here to narrow the candidate genera down to Chirodamus (=Calopompilus), Priocnessus, or Priocnemioides (= Entypus). Note that the two "Townes names" Chirodamus and Priocnemioides have current synonyms Calopompilus and Entypus, respectively. The later names are those used on BugGuide and in the key at the "Pompilid Project" web site. But I'll be referring to genus and species descriptions and range maps only found in Townes(1) below, and so will often use his names here to make it easier to cross-reference with his monograph.

Now, from reading Townes' genus description for Chirodamus, I do not think that's what we've got here...due to wing venation discrepancies. But to positively eliminate that genus using Townes' key, it would suffice to get good views of:

The clypeus...showing whether it's "wide, short, and rather flat" (Chirodamus) vs. "longer and more convex" (Priocnessus or Priocnemioides), and;
The "brush" on inner side of hind tibia...showing whether it's "broadly continuous to the apex" (Chirodamus) vs. "with a sub-apical constriction or interruption" (Priocnessus or Priocnemioides)
Assuming this is not Chirodamus, then at couplet 5 of Townes key, details of wing venation clearly visible in the photos here (i.e. "Cubital vein not quite reaching the wing margin and the nervellus ending at or distad of the juncture of cubitella with discoidella") take this to Priocnessus rather than Priocnemioides.

But when I take your photo through the key to species for Priocnessus, then the clearly evident characters "Head and body black" (vs. "rufous or mostly rufous") and "Wings orange" (vs. "subhyaline to blackish") leads me promptly to Priocnessus nigricans...which is given as a species from southeastern Arizona. Moreover, the 1st recurrent vein in the photo meets the 2nd submarginal cell near its distal 1/4, whereas Townes(1) states the meeting point is "at or just beyond its middle" in his genus description for Priocnessus. The genus description also states that Priocnessus is "of rather slender build", whereas I'd say the body here is somewhat stocky. So I suspect the key to genus may have led us astray, and that this may not be Priocnessus.

The final alternative for genus using Townes(1) is what he called Priocnemioides, which is now referred to as Entypus. Indeed Townes genus description for Priocnemioides fits the wasp here very well. As far as the the species key goes, the characters in the first couplet are not visible in the photos here (we'd need a view of the "brushes" on the inner hind tibia; and/or the "nipples" on posterior part of apical margin of fore coxa; and/or the second sternite of female). But if one follows the first choice in couplet 1 and proceeds to couplet 2...there is an immediate obstruction to going any further along that route, namely:

2a. Flagellum orange; wings black......magnus
2b. Flagellum black; wings orange to black......3
Neither 2a nor 2b hold it seems safe to assume we should follow the second lead of couplet 1...and proceed to couplet 7. Doing so leads without complications to E. unifasciatus californicus, which besides agreeing well with all the key characters, is also the only species of Priocnemioides (= Entypus) shown as occurring in California in Townes range maps...except E. texanus texanus, which has black antennae.

Since the reasoning above leading to Entypus depended on eliminating alternatives for genera and species, it could be rendered incorrect if other species of Entypus or Priocnessus have been described since Townes 1957 monograph. But this current checklist from the "Pompilid Project" web site lists exactly the same taxa for Entypus that Townes treated under the genus name of Priocnemioides. So if this is indeed Entypus, it would seem to have to be E. unifasciatus californicus. As for Priocnessus, the species on the checklist include all those treated in Townes(1), together with exactly one additional species: namely, Priocnessus hurdi Dreisbach, 1960. A key including P. hurdi appears here, and there is at least one specimen at the Essig Museum. If need be, eventually I can try to look at the specimen next time I go to the Essig Museum (or maybe we can persuade Joyce to do so, as she works around the corner from the museum :-).

So at this point, as far as I can tell, this is either E. unifasciatus californicus or P. hurdi. And I think we'll eventually be able to settle the ID here.

this is Entypus or Cryptocheilus. Those two genera are very similar and possibly should not be separated (in which case all species of Entypus would be transferred to Cryptocheilus). It is definitely not Priocnessus or Calopompilus. There are two species of Cryptocheilus with orange wings and flagellae: C. attenuatum and C. pallidipenne. Please note that the geographic ranges in Townes are almost meaningless (especially for C. attenuatum).

Good to get your feedback, Nick
And I'm thinking your "No" is also a partial "Yes" that you, Robyn, and I all seem to be circling around, and gravitating towards, Entypus...but with different degrees and directions of uncertainty.

Perhaps it wasn't clear, but my concluding thoughts in my previous comment were that this is most likely Entypus (and if so, E. unifasciatus californicus)...but (at that time) I could not absolutely rule out the (unlikely) possibility of Priocnessus hurdi (for the reasons given in the 3rd and next-to-last paragraph of that comment).

However, today I was able to study the original description of P. hurdi in Dreisbach(1960), and I can now confidently rule out that species the female is described as having body largely rufous. So we're now both on the same page as far as this not being Priocnessus or Calopompilus (me mostly from "book knowledge", and you from that plus more time/experience studying specimens).

So now, how about the question of Entypus vs. Cryptocheilus here? Both Townes(1) (couplet 7 on pg. 11) and the "Pompilid Project" key (at couplet 9 there) use the same pair of characters to separate these two groupings, Townes' version being (see Fig. 1A on pg. 7 for wing venation terminology):

5a) Carina on mesosternum in front of each middle coxa angled medially and, at the angle, usually produced as a tooth; nervellus ending beyond, at, or just before the juncture of cubitella with discoidella ......Entypus
5b) Carina on mesosternum in front of each middle coxa evenly curved; nervellus ending distinctly before the juncture of cubitella with discoidella.....Cryptocheilus
While assessing the primary "mesosternum character" in the couplet above would require a well-lit and resolved close-up image of the metasternum (and those in the "Pompilid Project" key for couplet 9 are not as clear as I'd like), I think the secondary "hind wing venation" character...involving the meeting point of the nervellus with the cubitella and discoidella...clearly indicates Entypus here.

Assuming this is Entypus, to get through the 1st couplet in the key to species (on pg. 50 of Townes(1)), a good underside view (as you commented here) would help decide which of the two leads to go with. But if you look ahead to couplet 2 there, you can see that neither lead works for the female it seems (indirectly) clear that one must go with couplet 7. And from there, this keys unambiguously to E. unifasciatus californicus.

If this were Cryptocheilus, then (as you mentioned above) the key to species (on pg. 69 of Townes(1)) indicates either C. attenuatum or C. pallidipenne, due to the orange antennae here. And the ranges given for those two species ("Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, and Iowa" for the former, versus "Arizona and California" for the latter) are quite disjunct and would strongly suggest C. pallidipenne. Even taking into account your skepticism of the dependability of the range maps in Townes...this still gives at least a suggestion of higher likelihood for pallidipenne way out west in CA.

Similarly, if you scrutinize Townes' range map for E. unifasciatus californicus (on pg. 65), you'll see a large cluster of collection record dots in the vicinity of Robyn's coastal mountain location here...whereas the California records shown on the range map for C. pallidipenne (on pg. 74) are all clustered in the desert areas of far southeast CA.

Overall, I'd say things point to E. unifasciatus californicus here.

Have had a chance to look over...
...and think about your analysis, Aaron. I see the hindwing character. I decided to move it. Many thanks!

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