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Isodontia philadelphica - female

Isodontia philadelphica - Female
Snowhill Road north of Cabin Branch Creek, Treyburn area, Durham County, North Carolina, USA
July 26, 2006
Size: 20 mm
Size estimated. Taking nectar on Hoary Mountain-mint, Pycnanthemum incanum, or a similar species. This looks very similar to a wasp identified by Eric Eaton as Isodontia philadelphica, compare:

(Eric verifies this--see comments.)
This is a pretty common species in the North Carolina State University Entomology Collection. I know species identification in this genus is tough. This one, with its blue-black wings, does look different than the ones I usually see, which have more brownish wings:

Those are likely I. mexicana and/or I. apicalis, based on Eric Eaton's identifications, and I. mexicana is common in the NCSU collection, linked above.

Excellent image, Pat! You can clearly see this is a stocky insect, with long, heavy, BLACK pubescence, and violet wings. Unmistakable, once you learn those field marks. Sphex pennsylvanica, which could be confused with this species, almost never hold their wings at an angle when nectaring.

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