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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 ¬©

  Leucospid Wasp  
Picture of Leucospid-Wasp
Picture of Leucospid-Wasp Picture of Leucospid-WaspPicture of Leucospid-Wasp

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.

Picture of the Leucospid Wasp
Picture of the Leucospid Wasp

Leucospid Wasp Information

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

Taxonomy Hierarchy

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

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 13 mm to 17 mm (0.507 inches to 0.663 inches)
Identifying Colors: black, yellow, white
Additional Descriptors: flying, stinging, large, hornet, mimic, mason, bee

North American Territorial 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

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that 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. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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