All-over dimples and a round bottom on the Leucospid Wasp helps differentiate it from similar-looking paper wasps.
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. While there, it will pupate and emerge as a winged adult. Adults visit flowers all summer.
Scientific Name: Leucospis spp.
Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 17mm (0.51in to 0.66in)
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.