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Species detail

Stenodynerus blepharus (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. Stenodynerus blepharus was rare in the Bee Atlas project, with one nest in a stem bundle in Brown County in 2017.

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. Stenodynerus blepharus are medium-sized black wasps with yellow markings.

Nest Structure

Eumenids are solitary-nesters, with each female building her own nest. They typically use mud or agglutinated sand to build their nest cells and plugs. The plugs frequently have a smooth outer surface, 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. Prey choices include caterpillars and beetle and moth larvae, including leaf mining beetles and moths that are often garden or crop pests. Stenodynerus blepharus biology is unknown.

Hole Sizes

No information at this time.

Voltinism

Possibly multivoltine. Eumenids can have 2 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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