Subject:  Which wasp is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  SW Missouri
Date: 09/23/2021
Time: 07:18 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I noticed this wasp in some goldenrod this past afternoon.  I did not recognize it.
Can you help identify it, please?
How you want your letter signed:  Dave

Sand Wasp: Stizus brevipennis

Dear Dave,
At first we mistook this for an Eastern Cicada Killer, but the white markings on the abdomen did not seem right.  Upon researching the Eastern Cicada Killer on the Missouri Department of Conservation site, we realized this was a similar looking Sand Wasp,
Stizus brevipennis.  According to BugGuide which has a visual comparison between the two species:  “This species looks superficially quite like Sphecius speciosus (the eastern cicada-killer wasp), but the abdominal banding is much less ‘ornate’. These markings lack a hooked structure and are overall broader and smoother. The scutellum and postscutellum are also marked in yellow, unlike in S. speciosus.”  This is a new species for our humble website and for that we are grateful to you, however, considering how similar these two species look and considering the large number of Eastern Cicada Killer postings on our site, we suspect that one or more might actually be misidentified Stizus brevipennis.  Also, your individual is nectaring on goldenrod, a very important plant to many species of insects, and we are tagging it as Goldenrod Meadow as well.

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