Incredibly narrow waists are a hallmark for this active, often paired, wasp.
Common Thread-waisted Wasp Videos
Common Thread-waisted Wasps mating, courtesy of Aletha P. in AL
The female of this species of Common Thread-waisted Wasp does a lot of work. She digs out a burrow for her eggs in the ground. She then seeks out a caterpillar to feed to her larvae. After mating, the female brings her paralyzed caterpillar back to the burrow and buries it with her eggs. The emerging wasp larvae eat the living, but immobile caterpillar, until they pupate.
This is the only representative of this particular genus that can be found north of Mexico. The black, glossy body has a pale yellow, almost white, mark on the side of the 'torso' or thorax. The abdomen tapers to a point. Though this species can sting, it is often so busy preparing a burrow, gathering meals, and living its life that observers are unnoticed. Couples are often sighted while mating, and adults may be seen taking nectar from flowers, especially from Queen Anne's Lace.
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees and Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.