Shrub Steppe - Eastern Washington State

Pollen wasp
Pseudomasaris edwardsii

Eastern Washington


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Eastern Washington Map of Wildlife and Recreation Areas

Related information
Pollen Wasp - Wikipedia
Eastern Washington Bees

Related books
Pollinator Conservation Handbook: A Guide to Understanding, Protecting, and Providing Habitat for Native Pollinator Insects
Pollinator Conservation Handbook

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders

Supplies & Services
BioQuip - Entomology Equipment, Supplies and Books
Entomo-Logic - Pollinators & Entomology Services


Picture of pollen wasp Pseudomasaris edwardsiiPseudomasaris edwardsii pollen wasps look like yellowjackets but live much differently. While yellowjackets have nests of thousands and scavenge meat and sweets to feed their young -- like what we might bring on a picnic -- pollen wasps lead solitary lives, gathering pollen and nectar from flowers to feed their offspring. Behavior aside, the clubbed antennae on pollen wasps (or masarid wasps) and other details distinguish them from yellowjackets.

Masarid wasps are also sensitive, their fate tied to very specific plants to gather pollen to provision their larvae. A similar species Pseudomasaris vespoides relies on penstemons, but Pseudomasaris edwardsii appears to favor plants of the waterleaf family or Hydrophphylaceae-- and in Washington has been observed foraging on a member of this family that loves hot, arid places, silverleaf phacelia and around where branching phacelia grow. Where their forage plants are not available, pollen wasps can not live.


Picture of pollen wasp foraging on silverleaf phacelia - Pseudomasaris edwardsii
Female Pseudomasaris edwardsii pollen wasp
foraging on silverleaf phacelia


» Other Eastern Washington Wasps

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