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Thread-Waisted Wasp (Ammophila spp.)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Thread-Waisted Wasp, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 9/4/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Thread-Waisted Wasp  
Picture of Thread-Waisted-Wasp-Ammophila

Fans of sandy soil, the Thread-waisted Wasps from the Ammophila genus use the loose earth to house their offspring.

Female Thread-waisted Wasps are solitary creatures. After mating, females will dig small caves into the ground using their legs and jaws. Inside the hole, an egg is laid and given a plump, paralyzed caterpillar 'pillow' for eating once it hatches. After a burrow has been filled, the female covers it with compacted soil to hide her treasure while it grows and develops.

Adults drink flower nectar and can be found roaming over the ground in arid and semi-arid regions. They are active during the day and can sting in defense if threatened, but they are not considered aggressive.

Thread-Waisted Wasp Information

Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Common Name: Thread-Waisted Wasp
Scientific Name: Ammophila spp.
Other Name(s): Sand Wasp

Taxonomy Hierarchy

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

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 18 mm to 25 mm (0.702 inches to 0.975 inches)
Identifying Colors: black, red, orange
Additional Descriptors: digging, skinny, needle, waist, flying, stinging

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Arizona; California; Colorado; Nevada; New Mexico; Texas; Utah; Washington; Wyoming; 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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