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Species Podalonia argentifrons

Cut-Worm Wasp from the Presidio - Podalonia argentifrons - female Cut-Worm Wasp from the Presidio - Podalonia argentifrons - female Cut-Worm Wasp from the Presidio - Podalonia argentifrons - female Blue Mud Wasp (Chalybion californicum)? - Podalonia argentifrons Podalonia argentifrons - female Podalonia argentifrons? - Podalonia argentifrons - female Podalonia argentifrons? - Podalonia argentifrons - female Podalonia argentifrons? - Podalonia argentifrons - female
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)
No Taxon (Apoid Wasps (Apoidea)- traditional Sphecidae)
Family Sphecidae (Thread-waisted Wasps)
Subfamily Ammophilinae
Genus Podalonia (Cutworm Wasps)
Species argentifrons (Podalonia argentifrons)
Explanation of Names
From Latin: argenti = silvery, frons = forehead(1).
Presumably refers to the male which, according to Fernald (1927), has: "Clypeus and frons...densely silvery pubescent".
Identification
Females: Fernald (1927, pg 7) implies that "abdomen a deep blackish blue, and glistening" is sufficient to distinguish species argentifrons from females of other species in the genus. Beyond that, the sequence of characters is his key is: "Anterior margin of clypeus without teeth; head and thorax black; abdomen deep blue.
Males: Again, from Fernald (1927, pg. 13) "Abdomen black, sometimes tinged with piceous" (vs. "Abdomen partly ferruginous"); and "Second and third dorsal abdominal plates covered with minute, silvery, decumbent hairs (sericeous) looking like a white transverse streak".
[Note: piceous = pitchy black or black with a reddish tinge; ferruginous = rusty red-brown; sericeous = covered with soft, silky, (appressed?) hairs.]
Range
Western US and Canada(2)
Food
Larvae are provisioned with caterpillars exclusively from the family Noctuidae, according to O'Neill & Evans (1999).
Adults nectar at flowers.
Works Cited
1.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
2.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.