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  • Leucospid Wasp - (Leucospis spp.)

    Leucospid Wasp - (Leucospis spp.)

    The round bottom of a Leucospid Wasp helps differentiate it from similar-looking mason bees.

    Staff Writer (12/6/2016): While most wasps have abdomen that come to a point, this type of wasp seems to have rounded it out. They still possess stingers. Females also have an ovipositor, a syringe-like tube used for laying eggs in other bees and wasp nests. This ovipositor tends to curl instead of sticking straight out. Unlike other types of wasps that flare out their wings while resting, Leucospid Wasps will fold their wings on top of themselves, over their own generally hairless body. They have large 'thighs' on their hind legs, making it easy to mistake them for a bee with large pollen baskets.

    This family of wasps is parasitic to a variety of other bees and wasps. The female will lay one or many fertilized eggs in an already existing nest. Once the first Leucospid Wasp hatches, it immediately sets out to eat every other egg in the nest, even if they are also Leucospid Wasps. It will pupate and emerge as a winged adult. Adults visit flowers all summer.

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    Details of the:
    Leucospid Wasp

    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: Leucospid Wasp
    Scientific Name: Leucospis spp.

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hymenoptera
          Family: Leucospidae
           Genus: Leucospis
            Species: spp.

    Size (Adult, Length): 13mm to 17mm (0.51in to 0.67in)

    Identifying Colors: black, yellow, white

    Additional Descriptors: flying, stinging, large, hornet, mimic, mason, bee

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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