No matter what genus this wasp resides in, this paralyzed caterpillar is destined to be fresh food for its offspring. Both this and the Great Golden Digger Wasp, which was featured earlier in the report, are thread-waisted wasps, so-named for their long, thin, tube-like waist. Both are active hunters, fueled by flower nectar, that search for insects with which to provision their ground nests. 

Wasp larvae in the genus Ammophila are parasitoids on caterpillars and sawflies, while larvae in the genus Podalonia, Noctuidae caterpillarsPodalonia wasps do things a little different… excavating the nest after finding prey, a reversal of the order for most thread-waists. You can view a comparison of these genera in the “Identification” section on this page

Size: 11 – 38 mm (most species 20 – 25 mm) for genus Ammophila

Photo by: Cec Brown on 8/21/22 in St. Ignatius, MT