Shrub Steppe - Eastern Washington State

Pollen wasp
Pseudomasaris marginalis

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 marginalisPollen wasps are also known as masarid wasps. They look like yellowjackets but do not behave like pests: while yellowjackets have nests of thousands and scavenge meat and sweet liquids to feed their offspring, upsetting many a picnic, pollen wasps work alone to gather pollen and nectar from flowers to feed their offspring. The pollen wasps are otherwise distinguished from yellowjackets by their clubbed antennae and a few other details.

Masarid wasps gather pollen from only specific plants to provision their larvae, so their distribution and life cycle needs to match the locations and flowering period of the plants on which they depend. At least one species rely on penstemons, while Pseudomasaris marginalis appears to favor phacelias-- and in Washington has been observed foraging on threadleaf phacelia, an annual flower that likes hot, dry, sandy places. Where their forage plants are scarce, pollen wasps can not live.

» Another Pollen Wasp, Pseudomasaris edwardsii
» Other Eastern Washington Wasps

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