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Family Anaxyelidae - Incense Cedar Wood Wasps

Syntexis libocedrii pinned female - Syntexis libocedrii - female Syntexis libocedrii pinned female - Syntexis libocedrii - female Syntexis libocedrii pinned male - Syntexis libocedrii - male Syntexis libocedrii pinned male - Syntexis libocedrii - male
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon ("Symphyta" - Sawflies, Horntails, and Wood Wasps)
Family Anaxyelidae (Incense Cedar Wood Wasps)
Other Common Names
cedar wood wasp
Numbers
family contains only a single living species, Syntexis libocedrii
Identification
Mesonotum not divided by a transverse groove between bases of fore wings. Protibia with 1 apical spur. Last tergum and last sternum of both sexes apically thin and without cylindrical projection. Pronotum in lateral view sloping forward at about 45°; pronotum in dorsal view with posterior margin weakly concave, with medial length over one-half lateral length. Fore wing with posterior-most vein (2A&3A) sinuate and in part far from posterior margin of wing. Pedicel as long as flagellomere 1. Metanotum with pair of cenchrus.
Range
w. NA (so.BC-CA)
Habitat
mountains of c. CA to s. BC, but is very rarely seen, except by firefighters.
Life Cycle
has the remarkable behavior of ovipositing only in recently burnt incense-cedar (Calocedrus), red cedar (Thuja) or juniper (Juniperus); the wood is often still smoldering when the wasp is laying its eggs, and the larvae develop in the wood.
Remarks
the family has an extensive Mesozoic fossil record
Print References
Schiff, N.M. (December 2000). "Insects associated with forest fires in Northern California and Oregon". Entomological Society of America meeting. Montreal.