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Sphecoid wasp - Spheciformes - Bee wolf
Sphecoid wasp - Spheciformes - Bee wolf

Sphecoid wasps
The sphecoid wasps (Spheciformes) belong to the suborder Apocrita and the group Aculeata. They are further subdivided into four families: Heterogynaidae, Ampulicidae, Sphecidae and Cabronidae. Other classification methods name these families sphecoid wasps I to IV. These four families together with bees are classed as the superfamily bees and sphecoid wasps (Apoidea).
Sphecoid wasps digging
Sphecoid wasps digging
Approximately 9000 species are known worldwide, around 300 of which are found in Europe. Some examples are: Ammophila sabulosa, Bembix rostrata and the European beewolf (Philanthus triangulum). The sphecoid wasps are solitary. Their body length ranges from 2 mm to several centimetres. Their colouration and markings vary. In some species the base colour of the abdomen is reddish. Many species have a slender abdomen.
The female digs a course in the soil for her eggs. At the end of the tunnel is a chamber which houses the egg and a stunned insect that will later serve as food for the hatched larvae. After oviposition, the nest is sealed and the entrance camouflaged.

Common namesSphecoid wasps
German namesGrabwespen
Finnish namesPetopistiäiset
Swedish namesRovsteklar
AuthorBrothers, 1975

Eurasia (Asia, Europe, Russia, Caucasus)

America (North America, South America, Central America, Caribbean)

Africa (East Africa, Southern Africa, Central Africa, North Africa, West Africa)

Oceania (Australasia, Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia)


Palaearctic (South Palaearctic)

Nearctic, Neotropical


Cenozoic (Paleogene, Neogene)

Paleozoic (Permian, Devonian)

Mesozoic (Cretaceous)

World Oceans:

Pacific Ocean (Pacific Islands)

Atlantic Ocean (British overseas territory Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea)

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Links and ReferencesSpheciformes in
Spheciformes in Wikipedia (English)

Further chapters of "sphecoid wasps"
- Red-banded Sand Wasp
- Field Digger Wasp
- Bee Wolf
- Sphex funerarius
- Ectemnius continuus
- Ectemnius cephalotes
- Bembix rostrata
- Odynerus spinipes
- Crabro peltarius
- Diodontus tristis
- Diodontus insidiosus
- Gorytes quadrifasciatus
Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Sphecoid wasp - Spheciformes - Bee wolf
2. Sphecoid wasps digging
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AuthorBrothers, 1975
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