University Studies of the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



UNIVERSITY STUDIES vol XVII, No 4 (October 1917)




The following paper is the result of three years more or less intermittent study and collecting of the entomophilous wasps of the superfamily Sphecoidea. In 1908, Mr. H. S. Smith published a list of Nebraska Sphecoidea together with synoptic tables, descriptions of new species and notes. The University of N ebraska collection of this group has more than doubled in size since 1908, the collection of Nebraska specimens now numbering about 7,000, while the entire collection of Sphecoidea includes between 8,000 and 9,000 specimens. This wealth of material has naturally increased the number of species known to occur within the state and has furnished 91 species new to science. Mr. H. S. Smith's paper included 200 species of Nebraska Sphecoidea, while the collection now contains 349 species of this group taken within the state. It seems opportune, therefore, to now publish a complete account of our knowledge concerning the Nebraska Sphecoidea. No doubt other forms will be found from time to time, and it is hoped that the synopsis here presented will stimulate interest in the study of this group and aid the student in determining the specimens that come to hand. The writer has been materially assisted by an abundance of comparative material. The Sphecoidea are one of the most interesting groups of the Hymenoptera, both from an economic and taxonomic standpoint. Except in one or two instances the habits of these wasps are of considerable economic value to man. The Peckhams have given an interesting account of the habits of several species. The adult wasps provision their nests with other insects, most of which are more or less destructive These include Lepidopterous larvae, Homoptera, Hemiptera, Diptera and Coleoptera.

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