Subject: Bodacious, Beautiful Wasp
Location: Brevard County (Titusville), FL
September 17, 2014 7:01 pm
Hello Big Folks,
We found this big, bodacious, beautiful wasp today (Sept. 17, 2014) while doing landscape work for a client. It’s big, nearly 2″ long and was very docile and tolerant as I hovered around it, mere inches away, taking photos and videos as it walked around on an Indian hawthorn shrub.
Can you tell me what it is? And everything there is to know about it? (<–ok, I realize that may be an unreasonable request, but this guy is awesome!)
Thanks so much, and also, thanks for this wonderful site. There is so much fascinating stuff here!
We had thought this would be an easy identification, but we are not having any luck, so we decided to enlist the assistance of Eric Eaton. Initially we thought that this might be a Thread-Waisted Wasp in the family Sphecidae, but we struck out, though Eremnophila aureonotata on BugGuide does have similar markings on the face. In the interest of trying to post additional submissions this morning, we are going live with your request, waiting for Eric Eaton to get back to us, and hopefully provide you with an identification soon. Perhaps some of our readers will have ideas.
Eric Eaton confirms family and gets more specific.
You are correct, this is a katydid hunter wasp, Sphex habenus. It is not one of the more commonly-photographed species.
Species Sphex habenus – BugGuide.Net