Thread-Waisted Wasp, Ammophila spp.

thread-waisted-wasp image

Common Name: Thread-waisted wasp

Order Name: Hymenoptera

Family Name: Sphecidae

This Order of insects include sawflies, horntails, wood wasps, ensign wasps, Ichneumonids, fairyflies, fig wasps, chalcids, gall wasps, cuckoo wasps, yellow-faced bees, sweat bees, leafcutter bees, carpenter bees, honey bees, bumble bees, orchid bees, velvet ants, spider wasps, paper wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, mud-dauber wasps and ants.

Thread-waisted wasps are prolific caterpillar hunters. Paralyzed caterpillars are used as food for their young while they develop in sand burrows. This mating pair are solitary wasps who have a liking for flower pollen. They were found in the Mojave Desert in California. Wasp females sting with their modified egg laying apparatus and the junction between the thorax and abdomen exhibits considerable constriction.