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Species detail

Ancistrocerus albophaleratus (Eumenid solitary wasp)

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Taxonomy

This species of wasp is in the family Vespidae, in the sub family Eumeninae. Eumenids are solitary nest building wasps that stock their nests with many individuals of some species of leaf-eating arthropod prey (like catterpillars). As such, they can be helpful to gardeners. There are many species in North America.

Description

Eumenid wasps have a stereotypical “wasp” look to them, but they are solitary and not aggressive like social wasps that are found in the family Vespidae. They are generally black with yellow bands and markings. At rest, their wings fold longitudinally and may appear very thin. They range in size from very small to medium. Ancistrocerus albophaleratus is a medium sized black wasp with yellow bands and markings.

Nest Structure

Eumenids are solitary-nesters, each female builds her own nests. They typically use mud or agglutinated sand to build their nest cells and nest plugs. Frequently plugs have a smooth outer surface. This is in contrast to the bee Osmia lignaria that also uses mud, but tends to have chunkier rougher looking nest plugs. Eumenids stock their nests with paralyzed prey, as is typical of solitary nesting wasps.

Hole Sizes

Ancistrocerus albophaleratus nest in upper column 2 (1/4") and lower column 3 (3/16") holes in Bee Atlas blocks.

Voltinism

Possibly multivoltine. Eumenid wasps can have two generations per year in Minnesota.

Activity Period

No information at this time.

References

Buck, Matthias. 2008. Identification Atlas of the Vespidae (Hymenoptera, Aculeata) of the northeastern Nearctic region. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification. Accessed from http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/bsc/ejournal/bmc_05/bmc_05.html.

Minnesota Record Map

These data are from the Minnesota Bee Atlas project.

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