Potter Wasps

Some species make nests of mud, others nest in burrows or in natural cavities. Nests are usually provisioned with caterpillars.

Subfamily Zethinae (see illus., p. 347). Similar to Eumeninae but mandibles short and broad. About 1 in., black, thorax narrowed in front of wings and narrower than head, and abdomen stalked. Zethinae occur in the South and are not common.

Yellowjackets and Hornets, Subfamily Vespinae. Middle tibiae with 2 apical spurs. HW without a jugal lobe. Clypeus broadly truncate and slightly notched at apex. Yellowjackets (see also PI. 16) have the abdomen banded with black and yellow; hornets are largely black, with yellowish-white markings on the face, thorax, and end of abdomen. These wasps build nests of a papery material and the tiers of cells are surrounded by an outer covering; some species nest in the ground and others nest above ground in various protected situations. The nest is begun by the queen (the only individual to overwinter). Her nest is an inch or two in diameter with a single tier of cells; as workers are produced the nest is enlarged, and by the end of the summer the nest may contain several tiers of cells and be several inches to a foot in diameter. Females of these wasps inflict a very painful sting.

Paper Wasps, Subfamily Polistinae. Somewhat brownish and long-legged. Middle tibiae with 2 apical spurs. HW with a small jugal lobe. Clypeus usually pointed at apex. 1st abdominal segment conical, not stalklike. These wasps are common and widely distributed. The nest consists of a single more or less circular tier of cells, attached by a short stalk to the underside of some surface (eaves of a building, ceiling of a porch, or similar surface); there is no outer covering as in nests of Vespinae.

Subfamily Polybiinae. Similar to Polistinae but 1st abdominal segment slender and stalklike. These wasps occur in the Gulf states and in the West, and most make nests similar to those of the Polistinae.

Sphecoid Wasps: Superfamily Sphecoidea

Pronotum usually short and collarlike, with a small rounded lobe on each side that does not reach the tegulae. Venation complete or nearly so. Body hairs simple. 1st segment of hind tarsi slender. Bees (Apoidea, p. 354) have a similarly shaped pronotum, but have most body hairs branched, and usually have the 1st segment of the hind tarsi enlarged and flattened. Sphecoid wasps are solitary, and adults are usually found on flowers; they nest in the ground, in natural cavities, or make mud nests, and each provisions its nest with characteristic prey.

AMPULICID WASPS Family Ampulicidae

Identification: Black and 10-15 mm. Pro thorax narrowed

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