- Habitat Regions
- Sexual Dimorphism
- female larger
- Range length
- 15 to 35 mm
- 0.59 to 1.38 in
- Average length
- 22 (males), 29 (females) mm
- Development - Life Cycle
- Mating System
- polygynandrous (promiscuous)
After mating, females of Ammophila females. Reproductive behavior in is determined by resource availability and temperature. reproduces more frequently when resources are high and weather is warm. If there is a lower amount of nectar, females will not reproduce as many times. Colder weather in early fall will also lead to decreased reproduction and fewer offspring. (Brockmann, 1985; Evans, 1959; Field, 1989; Wong, et al., 2013)dig a burrow, and supply the burrow with a paralyzed insect, usually a caterpillar. Only one caterpillar and a single egg have been observed per burrow, though one female usually creates multiple burrows to increase the chances of offspring survival. The 3.5 mm egg is then laid on the side of the paralyzed caterpillar within the burrow. The female seals the egg into the burrow, and eggs generally hatch within two days. The larva will consume nearly the entire caterpillar during the 5 day development period. There is some evidence that the wasps will steal burrows and provisions of other
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- mates multiple times during its life.
- Average time to independence
- 5 days
- Parental Investment
- female parental care
Little is known about the home range of.
Communication and Perception
- Communication Channels
Food habits of Lepidoptera larvae, though they also feed on other insects, terrestrial arthropods, and terrestrial worms. After the wasps have matured into adults, they then feed primarily on nectar. (Evans, 1959; Field, et al., 2011; Wong, et al., 2013)are dependent on the stage of development. Larvae feed on soft-bodied invertebrates, typically
- Animal Foods
- terrestrial non-insect arthropods
- terrestrial worms
- Plant Foods
Birds will prey on these wasps. They are also preyed upon by Hemipterans, such as Red bee-eater assassin bugs. These assassin bugs are known to prey upon Ammophila by camouflaging themselves and then attacking unwary wasps. The venomous sting of , while not used primarily for protection, can be used as defense against predators. Their contrasting bright red and black color patterns likely function as aposematic warning coloration. (Wong, et al., 2013)
- Anti-predator Adaptations
Lepidoptera larvae, as it catches these insects and places them in burrows for its offspring to feed upon. Some of the most commonly harvested caterpillars include rough prominent moths, variable oakleaf caterpillars, false unicorn caterpillars, and Symmerista moths. serves as prey to birds and other insects, and a fly species, Senotainia vigilans, has been observed parasitizing the wasp burrows.is a significant parasitoid of soft-bodied invertebrates, particularly
Wasps of the genus Ammophila play a crucial role in sandy beach habitats. Their burrows help with nutrient cycling and also keep the sand and vegetation in place and aerate the soils. is also a pollinator of many different plant species. (Brockmann, 1985; Field, 1989)
- flesh fly, Senotainia vigilans
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
- Positive Impacts
- pollinates crops
- controls pest population
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
- Negative Impacts
- bites or stings
populations are not recognized as threatened or endangered. One of the biggest threats to these wasps are humans, who will destroy the wasps nests and kill the wasps.
Chase Pickett (author), University of Wyoming, Hayley Lanier (editor), University of Wyoming - Casper, Angela Miner (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
uses sound to communicate
having coloration that serves a protective function for the animal, usually used to refer to animals with colors that warn predators of their toxicity. For example: animals with bright red or yellow coloration are often toxic or distasteful.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
- desert or dunes
in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
- female parental care
parental care is carried out by females
union of egg and spermatozoan
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
an animal that mainly eats nectar from flowers
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
an organism that obtains nutrients from other organisms in a harmful way that doesn't cause immediate death
the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
- soil aeration
digs and breaks up soil so air and water can get in
Living on the ground.
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
an animal which has an organ capable of injecting a poisonous substance into a wound (for example, scorpions, jellyfish, and rattlesnakes).
uses sight to communicate
2011. "Species http://bugguide.net/node/view/11119." (On-line). Bugguide. Accessed November 08, 2013 at
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Duffield, , Shamim, Wheeler, Menke. 1981. Alkylpyrazines in the mandibular gland secretions of Ammophila wasps (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Comparative Biochemistry, Volume 70, Issue 2: 317–318.
Evans, H. 1959. Observations on the nesting behavior of digger wasps of the genus Ammophila. American Midland Naturalist, 62/2: 449-473.
Field, J. 1989. Intraspecific parasitism and nesting success in the solitary wasp Ammophila sabulosa. Behaviour, 110/1/4: 23-46.
Tucker, E., I. Montie, S. Droege. 2013. "Draft guide to the Sphecidae of North America, east of the Mississippi River" (On-line). Discover Life. Accessed December 12, 2013 at http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?guide=Sphecidae.
Watson, J. 2011. "Thread Waisted Wasps" (On-line). Critters 360. Accessed November 08, 2013 at http://www.critters360.com/index.php/thread-waisted-wasps-6183/.
Wong, J., J. Meunier, M. Kölliker. 2013. The evolution of parental care in insects: the roles of ecology, life history and the social environment. Ecological Entomology, 38/2: 123–137.