Day 339: Sphecidae

“The Sphecidae are a cosmopolitan family of parasitoidal wasps that includes sand wasps, mud daubers, and other thread-waisted wasps. The name Sphecidae was formerly given to a much larger grouping of wasps. This was found to be paraphyletic, so most of the old subfamilies have been moved to the Crabronidae.The biology of the Sphecidae, even under the restricted definition, is still fairly diverse; some sceliphrines even display rudimentary forms of sociality, and some sphecines rear multiple larvae in a single large brood cell. Many nest in pre-existing cavities, or dig simple burrows in the soil, but some species construct free-standing nests of mud and even (in one genus) resin. All are predatory and parasitoidal, but the type of prey ranges from spiders to various dictyopterans, orthopteroids and larvae of either Lepidoptera or other Hymenoptera; the vast majority practice mass provisioning, providing all the prey items prior to laying the egg.” To read more click here

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