Black Thread-waisted Wasp   (five photos)
Genus Prionyx

large black wasp on antelope island
When I first saw this wasp in the shadows of some leaves on a sunflower on Antelope
Island, I thought it was a beetle because of its large size.  © Carol Davis 9-24-2014

prionyx wasp
Finding a wasp like this makes me talk to myself. I kept saying "Please don't leave! Please
don't leave!" as I was getting my camera ready and trying to hop out of the car at the same
Large wasps are few and far between and even though I know they are usually not
aggressive, they still make my heart race.  © Carol Davis 9-24-2014

hairy-legged black wasp
I see black spider wasps (which I thought this was) all the time, but nothing as big as
I was awed by the absolute hairiness of this black beauty. The female of this
species preys on mature grasshoppers.  © Carol Davis 9-24-14

paper wasp and prionyx wasp baring jaws
It was a very slow-moving wasp and it instantly drew the attention of a Paper Wasp
that was flying in.  It landed and proceeded to bug the crap out of the larger wasp.
Here they are comparing jaws - I think the black wasp wins.  © Carol Davis 9-24-2014

paper wasp biting prionyx wasp
Paper Wasps are just annoying, even to other wasps.  As the Prionyx is trying to move on, the
Paper Wasp is biting its leg.  This is a good example of how size in wasps does not determine
aggressiveness.  Finally the "battle" ended and both wasps went their separate ways with no
harm done to either one.  Dick Walton has a great video of a Prionyx parkeri
that is digging a burrow in which to stash a grasshopper. It's worth stopping by
his site to watch it. © Carol Davis 9-24-2014

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