Podalonia tydei ssp. suspiciosa in Spinifex
Photo and observation by Arnim Littek.
Identification by Jo Berry.
This appeared to be a male trying to mate with an emerging female. The nest has been on the wall for over a year, and the hole in which the female's head is visible has been there for a while too. Maybe they reuse old nests from previous years.
I believe this is a thread-waisted wasp species, Ammophila?
Hangs out on my milkweed eating nectar from the flowers daily. Suspected it was the culprit of my disappearing monarch cats but now know this species feeds its young with orthopterans.
The Sphecidae (Latreille, 1802) are a cosmopolitan family of wasps that include digger wasps, mud daubers, and other familiar types that all fall under the category of thread-waisted wasps. Both of the traditional definitions of the Sphecidae (the conservative one, where all the sphecoid wasps other than ampulicids and heterogynaids were in a single large family, and the more refined one, where the seven large sphecid subfamilies were each elevated to family rank) have recently been...