~2 cm length, ♂. Seen in our garden (live oak/chaparral habitat). ID confirmed by Richard Vernier @ BugGuide.
a wasp enjoying the goldenrod
Golden Digger Wasp
Sphex ichneumoneus, known commonly as the great golden digger wasp or great golden sand digger is a wasp in the family Sphecidae. It is identified by the golden pubescence on its head and thorax, its reddish orange legs, and partly reddish orange body. This wasp is native to the Western Hemisphere, from Canada to South America, and provisions its young with various types of paralyzed Orthoptera.