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HYMENOPTERA, Sphecidae (Nyssoninae) (Sphecoidea)-- <Images> & <Juveniles>




There are relatively few genera and species in the subfamily Nyssoninae.  Their prey consists mainly of Homoptera, especially Cercopidae and Membracidae.  Gorytes costalis Cress. utilizes adults of several genera and each of the several cells in the nest in the soil is provisioned with 3-6 tree hoppers.  These are permanently paralyzed and die within a week, which usually is the time between laying of the wasp egg and completion of larval feeding.  G. brasiliensis Shuck. is similar in its habits, but provisions its nests with various Fulgoridae in South America (Clausen 1940/1962).


This group was considered to be subfamily of Nyssonidae by Finnamore & Michener (1993).  There are around 225 species which are cleptoparasites of Gorytinae  Larrinae.  The toughened integument of these black or red wasps is attributed to their cleptoparasitic behavior.  In North America there are more than 61 species known as of 2000.  A key reference to Sri Lankan species is Krombein (1984 & 1985).


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    References:   Please refer to  <biology.ref.htm>, [Additional references may be found at:  MELVYL Library]


Bohart, R. M. & D. S. Horning, Jr.  1971.  California Bembicine sand wasps.  Bull. Calif. Insect Survey 13:  49 pp.


Evans, H. E. & K. M. O'Neill.  2007.  The Sand Wasps:  Natural History and Behavior.  Harvard Univ. Press.