Shrub Steppe - Eastern Washington State

Pollen wasp
Pseudomasaris vespoides

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 a female pollen wasp Pseudomasaris vespoidesPseudomasaris vespoides or pollen wasps look like vespid wasps such as yellowjackets but live much differently. While yellowjackets have nests of thousands and scavenge meat and sweets to feed their offspring -- like picnic food -- pollen wasps lead solitary lives, gathering pollen and nectar from flowers to feed their offspring. Life and behavior aside, the clubbed antennae on pollen wasps (or masarid wasps) and many other details distinguish them from yellowjackets.

Masarid wasps are also sensitive, their existence tied to very specific plants to gather pollen to provision their larvae. For Pseudomasaris vespoides, that plant is the penstemon, including several rare species that benefit from its pollination, increased seed production and improved genetic diversity.

 

Picture of a male pseudomasaris pollen wasp with long clubbed antennae and dark color in Washington State
Male Pseudomasaris vespoides pollen wasp
with long clubbed antennae and darker coloration in Washington

 

Picture of a male Pseudomasaris vespoides pollen wasp foraging on fuzzytongue penstemon, Penstemon eriantherus whitedii
Male Pseudomasaris vespoides pollen wasp
visiting penstemon flowers

 

Picture of a Pseudomasaris vespoides pollen wasp sheltering in a fuzzytongue penstemon flower, Penstemon eriantherus whitedii
Pseudomasaris vespoides pollen wasp
taking shelter on a rainy day in Penstemon eriantherus whitedii

 

» Other Eastern Washington wasps



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