Sand Wasp
( Bembix americana )


2014-0614-01100112-HYM00569-Bembix_americana[1209h34s,F,A,plant-flower]{JRyugo}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Bembix americana
(Fabricius ,1793 )
Common Name:Sand Wasp
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Crabronidae
Subfamily:Bembicinae
Tribe:Bembicini
Genus:Bembix
Taxon Code:HYM00569
ITIS/TSN:154335

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Gardens at Lake Merritt, Lakeside Park, 666 Bellevue, Oakland
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CA01100110

RECOGNITION
Description
(Genus Bembix): Abdomen black with broad white, yellowish, or light bluish curving bands that often meet at the dorsal midline.
Child Taxa
Bembix americana comata; Bembix americana spinola
Similar Taxa
(Genus Bembix): Bicyrtes generally have abdominal bands that are straighter and dont quite meet at the dorsal midline.

BIOLOGY
California Bembicindae Sand Wasps: Habits generally applicable to Bembix are as follows: They nest gregariously in sand or sandy soil. Burrows slant into the ground for 6 to 9 inches and end in a rather horizontal terminal cell and a more vertical spur in which the female may rest. Males dig shallow burrows in which they pass the nizht. Mating, which may occur more than once, takes place on a plant or the ground after an aerial meeting. The nests are provisioned with flies, many of which are noxious species in the Tabanidae or one of the muscoid families. Cell provisioning is almost entirely progressive and the egg may be deposited on the first prey or in the empty cell. Flies are stung to paralysis and transported to the nest held by the middle legs of the wasp. The larva spins a cocoon with sand grains incorporated and becomes a prepupa. More than one brood during the summer is customary.
Food
(Genus Bembix): Females provision their nest with flies which the larvae feed on (a single developing larva may eat more than twenty flies). Provisioning is progressive. The females provide a greater number of prey over subsequent days during larval growth. Adults are excellent diggers and can disappear below the surface of loose sand within seconds.
Habitat
(Genus Bembix): Usually sandy areas; nest holes are dug in the sand; best opportunity to observe individuals is on dunes or where vegetation is sparse.
Range
(Genus Bembix): Throughout North America
Active Period
(Genus Bembix): Summer months

CREDITS
Photographer
Jim Ryugo
Park Maintenance, City of Oakland

References
Species Bembix americana. (http://bugguide.net/node/view/79847). Accessed March 12, 2016. .
ITIS.
California Bembicine Sand Wasps. Bulletin of the California Insect Survey. Volume 13.


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