Bugs, Arachnids And Insects

Thread Waisted Wasps



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The thread waisted wasp is from the family Sphecidae of the order Humentoptera. They get their name from the stalk-like anterior or front end of their abdomen. The thread waisted wasp is usually more than one inch long.

They acts as parasites on other insects and spiders. They numb the host by a process called malaxation, which is pinching or crushing of the neck. The thread waisted wasp then uses its pincher like jaws to grasp and then paralyze the host by stinging it. The wasp then put the host's body into a mud cell and laws an egg on it. The larva eats the host after it hatches.

The tribe Sphecini are usually black in color with yellow or orange marking on the abdominal area. They sometimes nest in burrows and place caterpillars inside to be eaten by their larva after hatching. The tribe Sceliphronini or mud daubers are usually black with yellow legs and yellow spots. However they are sometimes a metallic blue color. The corners of eaves or ceiling are where they usually build their mud cells. They build several cells together to make their "nest". Their preferred food of choice is usually spiders. The tribe Podiini places cockroaches in their cells, while the tribe Chlorionini make their nest on the ground and they provide their larva with grasshoppers and crickets.

The Ammophila thread waisted wasp is designed to carry heavy caterpillars that it feeds its larva. It look a lot like the Podalonia cutworm wasp. This is a solitary species of wasp. It prefers to feed its larva hairless caterpillars. This wasp makes it nest on the group and usually has several nest holes. It remembers where they are located and return to reopen and provide the larva with more food. After the larva hatches it consumes its host slowly for weeks before it finally kills it. The larva than pupates underground and then comes out in the mid to late summer as a single adult.

The grown wasp eats flower nectar. It can be found throughout the southern areas of Canada and the entire United States where it prefers to live in open areas.

Most of the thread waisted wasps can, and do sting humans when threated. Some of the stings can be quite painful. It is usually a good idea to destroy any visible nests that are found in areas where people live or will be spending time.

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