Fun Ammophila Procera Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 15, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 13, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Ammophila procera facts are informative and teach us much about the wasp's life cycle.

Do you like reading about different species of wasps? Then you are going to love this article.

Ammophila procera, also known as the common thread-waisted wasp is a sand wasp that belongs to the Sphecidae family along with digger wasps, mud daubers, and other thread-waisted wasps. The venomous wasp has a wide range of distribution and lives in the sand dunes, beaches, and prairies of Central and North America, Southern Canada, and Mexico.

As a larva it feeds on paralyzed preys such as caterpillars but as they mature they feed on the nectar of flowers for survival. The contrasting body colors of black and red-orange make the species immediately distinguishable.

Although the insect can never be considered adorable or lovable its behavior and mannerisms will always pique general interest. To know more about the Ammophila procera keep reading.

For more relatable content, check out these brown marmorated stink bugs and ghost ant.

Ammophila Procera Interesting Facts

What type of animal is Ammophila procera?

Ammophila procera is a species of insect. They are solitary sand wasps of the genus Ammophila and belong to the Sphecidae family.

What class of animal does an Ammophila procera belong to?

It belongs to the Insecta class of animals.

How many Giant Ammophila procera are there in the world?

An accurate estimate of the number of common thread-waisted wasp (Ammophila procera) is currently unavailable. The species is yet to be recognized as threatened or endangered so it would be safe to assume that the population of this wasp is stable.

Where does an Ammophila procera live?

The species is distributed throughout the Nearctic region, including the southern parts of Canada, Mexico, and the entire United States. Although it is widespread throughout America, it is most common in Central and North America where the weather is warmer.

What is an Ammophila procera's habitat?

The common thread-waisted wasp prefers open regions like plains or beaches. The wasp builds its own burrow by digging loose dirt and debris, so it usually settles down in habitats that have soft soils.

Beaches, prairies, and sand dunes are among the places where they can find this soft soil. Because nectar is an important part of an adult wasp's diet, the insect tends to build its burrow near flowers wherefrom it can collect nectar.

Who does Giant Ammophila procera live with?

These sand wasps are solitary creatures who are usually spotted alone. They are timid and gentle by nature and will opt to flee from a dangerous situation rather than confront it.

How long does an Ammophila procera live?

The lifespan of the common thread-waisted wasp remains unknown for the most part. But factors like climate and living conditions are known to play a vital role in ensuring their longevity. In a harsher climate, the wasp's lifespan will shorten considerably due to inadequate food supply and the inability to build a suitable burrow.

How do they reproduce?

Males and females of Ammophila procera are polygynandrous, meaning they can mate several times with different mates throughout their adult lives. Female of the species digs a burrow when its done mating and provide it with a paralytic insect, generally a caterpillar.

Although one female normally makes many burrows to boost the odds of progeny survival, just one caterpillar and a single egg have been recorded per burrow. Within the burrow, females lay a single egg on the side of the paralyzed caterpillar.

The egg is then sealed into the burrow by the female. It takes the egg about two days to hatch.

During the caterpillar's five day development phase, the larva will swallow practically the entire caterpillar. It flies out of the nest when the wings are fully developed.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the common thread-waisted wasp (Ammophila procera) is Not Listed by the IUCN.

Ammophila Procera Fun Facts

What does giant Ammophila procera look like?

The thorax of the common thread-waisted wasp is long, slender, and black, with a red-orange band running down the middle. It has a sleek black thorax with silver bars as accents.

This species possesses a 13-segmented elongated antenna. The majority of their wings are transparent with black venation.

Color variations have been documented among the species based on their location. For example, male wasps living in east and north America are primarily black in color with varying degrees of redness while the wasps living Pacific coast have smaller red segments, which are broken by black spots.

Females of the species are larger than males, reaching a length of up to 1.3 in (3.5 cm). Females also have a longer wingspan and more prominent red colorations.

*We've been unable to source an image of thread-waisted wasp and have used an image of wasp instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of thread-waisted wasp, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

How cute are they?

These wasps are generally not what one would term as 'cute'. However, one cannot deny that this particular species has its own charm. Many may find themselves fascinated by the contrasting black and red colorations on the insect's body and its thread-like waist.

How do they communicate?

Female wasps emit a chirping sound. Although the purpose of these cries is unknown, experts suspect they may be used to attract a mate.

A female is assumed to begin chirping when she is ready to mate, but since very little research has been conducted on the communication process of the species, the theory may not be very conclusive. Thread-waisted wasps are also able to see their surroundings and detect UV light.

How big is an Ammophila procera?

The common thread-waisted wasp is quite large in size when compared to other wasps. They have a length of 0.9-1.3 in (2.5-3.5 cm) on average. They are bigger than a common wasp (Vespula Vulgaris) which is 0.78 in (2 cm).

How fast can giant Ammophila procera move?

There is no reliable data on the speed of thread-waisted swaps. When it comes to hunting and foraging for flowers, thread-waisted wasps are lightning-fast.

How much does an Ammophila procera weigh?

An accurate estimate of the weight of a common thread-waisted wasp is unavailable. As far as wasps go, they are quite large and are thus likely to weigh on the heavier side.

What are the male and female names of the species?

No specific name has been allotted to the male and female adult common thread-waisted wasp. They are simply referred to as male and female ammophila procera.

What would you call a baby Ammophila procera?

The baby ammophila procera is called a larva or 'wasp larva'.

What do they eat?

The diet of a common thread-waisted wasp depends on its stage of development. Larvae feed on soft-bodied invertebrates, terrestrial worms, and small insects like caterpillars. Upon reaching adulthood, the species converts into an herbivore. Adult wasp feed primarily on nectar or honey obtained from flowers.

Are they harmful?

The species is timid and gentle in nature and usually does not attack others without reason, like cuckoo wasps. Even when they are cornered they prefer to flee than fight. A thread-waisted wasp sting is venomous and can have a paralyzing effect on its prey.

However, they usually use this tool only for survival rather than protection or defense. The female of the species uses the venom of their sting to paralyze prey like caterpillars and soft-bodied invertebrates. They are parasitic on small insects, caterpillars, and spiders.

Would they make a good pet?

No, wasps do not make good pets. Ammophila procera sting whenever they feel threatened or cornered so it would be quite dangerous to keep this species at home. They may not usually harm a human but may resort to stinging them for defense. Their stings are venomous and can cause significant damage to a human.

Did you know...

Research on the nesting behavior of digger wasps shows that the species is rather clever when it comes to building a burrow. After they have placed their paralyzed prey in the burrow they seal it with rocks and twigs so that it cannot escape even if it regains its ability to move.

When a mother abandons its burrow, other females may take over the burrow and the food resources stored inside. This is performed by replacing the egg with its own.

Why is it called thread-waisted wasp?

Thread-waisted wasps get their name from their extremely narrow waist.

How bad is their sting?

The sting of thread-waisted wasps is swift, venomous, and has a paralyzing effect on their prey. Their stings may not be enough to immobilize an adult human but they can cause severe pain.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these blue-winged wasp facts and stick bug facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable realistic bug coloring pages

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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