Subject: New Wasp to the Back
Location: Hawthorne, CA
September 3, 2013 4:32 pm
I caught this wasp foraging about in the Mexican Sunflower blooms yesterday and don’t recognize it. I thought I’d seen and identified them all. Can you please help?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon
We believe your wasp is in the subfamily Eumeninae, the Potter and Mason Wasps. There are many genera on BugGuide that look similar, including Ancistrocerus, Euodynerus and Pachodynerus, but we cannot say with any certainty that your wasp is a member of any of them. We will try to get additional information for you. Our archives are populated with quite a few Potter or Mason Wasps from your garden.
I think it is most likely Euodynerus. Thanks, and I’ll keep trying to narrow it down.
Eric Eaton Responds
I agree….This is Euodynerus hidalgo in all likelihood. I’m absolutely positive at genus level anyway.
Eric and Daniel,
Thanks for the work on this. It didn’t seem as brightly colored as Euodynerus hidalgo. Can we be sure it is not Euodynerus pratensis? I would appreciate further input and thank you again for your time. Gads, I’m questioning experts! Just trying to learn more and more . . .
We cannot say for certain and Eric’s response was not definitive. Euodynerus hidalgo, according to BugGuide has: “Thin, lamellate, reflexed hind margins of 2nd and 3rd urotergites is diagnostic for this species. The amount of black is highly variable in this species and other vespids. The eastern subspecies (boreoorientalis) is mainly black. Some specimens of this species from one locality in Florida have practically no red while others are almost completely red. In general, structural characters are more reliable and play a more important role in identification, though some species also show significant structural variation.” We are not even certain what the first sentence in that quote means.
Update from Anna: September 6, 2013
I got a better shot of the same(?) wasp today and do agree with Eric’s determination that this is most likely Euodynerus hidalgo. Thanks for everything!
Thanks for the update and the new photo Anna.