Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp

With 20 species, sand wasps are a large tribe of crabwaps. Toddlers feed on a wide variety of insect species. Within each genus, the type of prey obtained tends to be quite consistent, with flies being the most typical prey type. Sometimes an egg can be laid before the chamber is completely full. The nests are usually small, simple burrows with a single enlarged chamber at the bottom that is lined with prey recently paralyzed for the development of wasp larvae. When soils are suitable, it is typical for several females to dig nests in a small area, resulting in large and sometimes very dense nest aggregations. These aggregations attract various species of parasitic flies and wasps, many of which are kleptoparasites.

In some cases, sand wasps even feed on their own parasites, a surprisingly rare occurrence in the animal kingdom. Sand wasps typically have yellow and black plumage, although others have black and white fur and bright green eyes. These black wasps have greenish-yellow stripes on their abdomen. Its legs are yellow, except in the areas closest to its body. Its transparent wings have dark-colored veins. Its length varies between 13 and 16 mm.


In the southern United States, horse guards (Bambix Carolina) frequently discover flies near horses. It is black with a pale yellow or green pattern about 2.5 cm long. Along the coast, Micrombex monodonta has been discovered. Many sand wasps have white, yellow, or green patterns on their black bodies. Their huge triangular labrum (upper lip), which gives them the appearance of having a beak, is a distinguishing feature. Sand burrows, many of which often group together, serve as their nests. The larvae mainly feed on other insects that the parents have caught. Most sand wasps have a ringed (bee-like) appearance and are yellow and black or black and white in color. The markings on many are light green. They all make nests with their eggs in the ground and fill them with insects, including various flies.

Life Cycle: 

A single female builds a nest in the sand. After that, it goes hunting and returns with its paralyzed prey to the underground nest to be eaten by the larvae. Close the end of the tunnel with sand after laying an egg on one of the prey. Before becoming an adult, the larva feeds and pupates inside a cocoon in the nest. A new nest is dug, and the mother lays an additional egg when her offspring reach the pupal stage.


Sand wasps (Sphax langadosian) are ground-nesting insect hunters. A female begins by digging a vertical pit after mating and then digs a smaller horizontal compartment which will serve as her “chamber” for her vivarium. Once her nest is ready, the female goes in search of prey (perhaps a cricket or a small caterpillar).