Leucospid Wasp (Leucospis spp.)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Leucospid Wasp, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 12/6/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The round bottom of a Leucospid Wasp helps differentiate it from similar-looking mason bees.
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.