Explanation of Names
Females 12-15 mm, males usually not larger than 10 mm.
Cryptocheilus belongs to the subfamily Pepsinae, tribe Pepsini which is defined by the following characters: groove in 2nd sternite, crease on side of 1st tergite marking off an epipleuron, serrate HT, at least a partially exposed labrum, concave sides of 1st tergite (look dorsally), spines on end of hind tibia of equal size and spacing.
This species has orange wings with dusky margins and an orange antennal flagellum. It can be identified on the basis of these characters except in the southwestern U.S.
Found throughout most of the country; rare or absent north of the Great Lakes.
Open disturbed areas, meadows and fields, woodland edges.
Late summer-early autumn species; most common in July and August in the north, but can be found through September.
Adults commonly visit flowers, especially umbellifers (Pastinaca sativa and Daucus carota).
Distinctive in the east, no other spider wasp this size has orange wings and an orange flagellum. can only be confused with other orange-winged Cryptocheilus west of the Mississippi. It is also much smaller than other genera that have orange-winged species.
Townes, H.K. 1957. Nearctic wasps of the subfamilies pepsinae and ceropalinae. U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 209: 1-286. (description, keys, distribution)
Krombein, K.V. 1979. Pompilidae, pp. 1523-1571. In Krombein, K.V., P.D. Hurd, Jr., D.R. Smith, and B.D. Burks, eds. Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. Vol. 2 Apocrita (Aculeata). Smithsonian Inst. Press, Washington, D.C. (prey records, references)