Predatory Wasps - Superfamily VESPOIDEA and  SPHECOIDEA 

This page contains pictures and information about Predatory Wasps that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Wasps have a small head, with medium sized eyes and medium length antennae. The body is slender, with a narrow waist. They have two pairs of brown-tinted wings, with the forewings larger. The abdomen has some yellow bands on black. Adult wasps generally feed on nectar so they pollinate flowers as well. The ovipositors in most wasps are modified into stingers. They will sting if disturbed.

Wasp larvae are carnivorous. They feed on other insects and spiders. The adult female provide food for them by capturing prey or by laying the egg on or near the food source. Female wasps spend most of their time in finding food and making nest for their young.

Most wasp species are solitary, but some of them, such as the paper wasps, form colonies.

Although we call this two Superfamilies as Predatory Wasps, some of them are parasitic. Ants are in Superfamily VESPOIDEA.

Superfamily VESPOIDEA

wpe6.jpg (30050 bytes)FAMILY POMPILIDAE - Spider Wasps
Most member in this family are large wasps. They are solitary insect. Most of them are orange and black, the very strong warning colour. They hunt for spider as prey, which they grasp and sting.

Species in this family are parasitic wasps which there larvae parasite on soil insects such as burrowing beetles larvae and mole crickets. The female Flower Wasps has to burrow through the soil to find the host and lay an egg on it. The female legs are modified for digging and her wings are lost. 

wpe6.jpg (54549 bytes)FAMILY SCOLIIDAE - Flower Wasps
Most member in this family are large wasps. They are solitary insect.

FAMILY VESPIDAE - Paper Wasps, Potter Wasps
Paper Wasps make their nests by chewing decayed wood mixing with their saliva. A number of hexagonal shape cup cell grouped together to form a comb. An egg is lay in each cell. The larvae develops and pupate inside the cell, emerges and become an adult. 

All ants are in family Formicidae and all of them have waist. Their waist is composed of one or two knobs which are the first one or two segment of their abdomen. Their antennae have a distinct elbow. Ants live in colonies made up of several castes. They included the winged male, winged female and wingless workers.

Superfamily SPHECOIDEA 

FAMILY SPHECIDAE - Mud-Dauber, Sand Wasps
Species in this family are solitary hunting wasps.  Female wasp make nest in soil or build mud cells for her young. She paralyses host arthropod, usually caterpillars or spiders, by her sting.  The sting is a modified ovipositor which injects venom paralyses but not kill the host.

There are some other wasps that we cannot identify and listed in this page.

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Up ] Sawflies - Suborder Symphyta ] [ Predatory Wasps - Superfamily VESPOIDEA and  SPHECOIDEA ] Bees - Superfamily APOIDEA ]

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Last updated: January 02, 2007.