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Red-and-Black Mason Wasp (Pachodynerus erynnis)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Red-and-Black Mason Wasp.


 Updated: 5/22/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Red-and-Black Mason Wasp  
Picture of Red-And-Black-Mason-Wasp


Bold alarm coloring and unusually tinted wings make the Red-and-Black Mason Wasp a standout among wasps in the Southeast.





Bright red bands and antennae alert observers to keep their distance, but this species shows little interest in people. It is not an aggressive species of wasp and may abandon its nest before protecting it, but if physically harassed, it can defend itself. Like other Mason wasps, females craft a nest of earth, plant debris and resin for egg-laying only, not as homes. Adults are solitary and do not live in huge groups. A nest is typically small and filled with many small cells, each with room for a single fertilized egg laid on an insect host to feed on. Sometimes old nests of other wasp species are reused, saving the female the energy of creating a new one. The parent hunts for a food source that will sustain the larva once it hatches. Caterpillars are the most common meal choice, but beetle grubs may also suffice. A paralyzing sting keeps the caterpillar alive and immobile, allowing the wasp larva to eat during its development stage. Look for nests around homes and buildings at the corners, and under siding. Another popular location is at the base of chimneys on rooftops.

Red-and-Black Mason Wasps are the only red and black members of its genus; all others are either yellow and black, or white and black. They have round red knobs where the wings attach to the body. Wings are reddish-orange near the body and become a translucent black with a purple-blue sheen that almost gives them a metallic tint. A thick red band just below the 'waist' is followed by a solid black area on the abdomen. A thinner red band on the abdomen is closer to the tip. Legs and the base of antennae are red. The head is completely black. They may be spotted visiting flowers for nectar.

Because of the larval diet, adult and larval Red-and-Black Mason Wasps are considered beneficial insects to have around the garden or farm. Together, by hunting and consuming foliage-eating caterpillars, parent and offspring reduce the number of pest insects that harm produce and food harvests. Adults also play a role in pollination due to their desire to visit a variety of flowers to drink nectar.
Basic Information
Common Name: Red-and-Black Mason Wasp
Other Name(s): Red-Marked Pachodynerus
Scientific Name: Pachodynerus erynnis
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 11mm (0.35in to 0.43in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: black, red
Additional Descriptors: pentagon, blue wings, flying, stinging, helpful




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Vespidae
Genus: Pachodynerus
Species: erynnis


Ant, Bee and Wasp Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of both a bee and an ant insect
1
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
2
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
3
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
5
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.


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
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 below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below 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.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Red-and-Black Mason Wasp may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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