Key to the Tribes of

Sphecid Wasps in Arkansas


This key is modified from the key in the volume Sphecid Wasps of the World from Bohart and Menke. It includes only the tribes predicted for occurrence in Arkansas. By no means have these all been proven in the state. Predicted genera for each tribe and the species number expected are included below the tribes. This will be refined as we find or fail to find species. Keys to the genera in each tribe are being added. Click on the tribe name to go to genera keys. Click on linked terms to access Wasp Terminology images (use back button from there to return to same spot on main key). Images are also from the Bohart and Menke text. Those coyrights are held by those authors and California Press. Eastern Sphecid Wasp list.



1. Gaster with a cylindrical petiole composed of sternum only, tergum I removed to apex of sternum I, jugal lobe of hindwing comprising nearly all of anal area


1. Gaster without a petiole composed of sternum only, or if so, jugal lobe of hindwing comprising at most not much more than half of anal area



2. Tarsal claws of foreleg and midleg with two or more basal teeth along inner margin


                                                                                                Tribe Sphecini

                                                                                                            Isodontia (4)

                                                                                                            Sphex (4)

                                                                                                            Palmodes (1)

                                                                                                            Prionyx (3)

2. Tarsal claws of foreleg and midleg simple or each with a single tooth on inner margin



3. Tarsal claws simple or rarely with a basal tooth                     

Tribe Ammophilini

                                                                                                            Podalonia (4)

                                                                                                            Eremnophila (1)

                                                                                                            Ammophila (12)

3. Tarsal claws with one mesal tooth

                                                                                                Tribe Sceliphronini

                                                                                                            Chalybion (2)

                                                                                                            Chlorion (1)

                                                                                                            Podium (2)

                                                                                                            Sceliphron (1)

4. Midtibia with two apical spurs (rarely none)


4. Midtibia with one apical spur (rarely none)



5. Claws with one inner tooth or bifid



                                                Gaster petiolate                        Tribe Ampulicini

                                                                                                            Ampulex (1)

                                                Gaster sessile                          Tribe Dolichurini

                                                                                                            Dolichurus (1)

5. Claws simple or with a basal lobe, not a tooth



6. Hindwing jugal lobe more than half the length of anal area


                                                                                                Tribe Astatini

                                                                                                            Astata (5)

                                                                                                            Dryudella (1)

6. Hindwing jugal lobe less than half the length of anal area




7. Forewing with prestigmal length of first submarginal cell much more than length of wing beyond marginal cell


                                                   Tribe Stizini (part)

                                                                                                            Bembecinus (1)

                                                                                                            Stizus (1)

                                                                                                            Stizoides (1)


7. Forewing with prestigmal length of first submarginal cell not distinctly more than length or wing beyond marginal cell or propodeum with a lateral tooth or prong



8. Pronotal collar low, longer than scutellum in dorsal view        

                                                                                                Tribe Alyssonini (part)

                                                                                                            Didineis (2)

8. Pronotal collar shorter than scutellum in dorsal view



9. Admedian scutal lines fused to form a single furrow, propodeum with a lateral tooth or prong

                                                                                      Tribe Nyssonini

                                                                                                            Hyponysson (1)

                                                                                                            Nysson (7)

                                                                                                            Synnevrus (2)

                                                                                                            Epinysson (3)

                                                                                                            Zanysson (2)

9. Admedian scutal lines well separated, propodeum not toothed or pronged



10. Second submarginal cell of forewing receiving at least the second recurrent vein


                                                                                                Tribe Gorytini

                                                                                                            Ochleroptera (1)

                                                                                                            Argogorytes (1)

                                                                                                            Gorytes (5)

                                                                                                            Pseudoplisus (5)

                                                                                                            Oryttus (1)

                                                                                                            Psammaletes (1)

                                                                                                            Sphecius (2)

                                                                                                            Tanyoprymnus (1)

                                                                                                            Hoplisoides (5)


10. Second submarginal cell of forewing receiving at most the first recurrent vein

                                                                                                Tribe Mellinini

                                                                                                            Mellinus (1)


11. Gaster with petiole composed of sternum only, tergum I removed to distal end of sternum


11. Gaster not petiolate, or petiole composed of both tergum and sternum



12. Forewing with three submarginal cells

                                  Tribe Psenini

                                                                                                            Mimumesa (2)

                                                                                                            Mimesa (4)

                                                                                                            Pseneo (2)

                                                                                                            Psen (1)

                                                                                                            Pluto (1)

                                                                                                            Psenulus (1)


12. Forewing with no more than two submarginal cells

   Tribe Pemphredonini (part)

                                                                                                            Pemphredon (2)

                                                                                                            Cemonus (3)

                                                                                                            Passaloecus (3)

                                                                                                            Stigmus (3)

                                                                                                            Spilomena (3)

                                                                                                            Xysma (1)


13. Forewing either with one discoidal cell, at most two submarginal cells, and a much enlarged stigma or two to three submarginal cells, stigma nearly as large as first discoidal cell, two sessile submarginal cells, mandible simple externoventrally, inner orbits not angulate, and hindwing media diverging at or before cu-a

            Tribe Pemphredonini (part)

                                                                                                            See genera above

13. Without either combination above



14. Hindocelli deformed or greatly reduced


14. Hindocelli normal



15. Hindwing jugal lobe subequal to length of anal area

  Tribe Larrini

                                                                                                            Larra (1)

                                                                                                            Liris (1)

                                                                                                            Larropsis (7)

                                                                                                            Ancistromma (3)

                                                                                                            Tachytes (15)

                                                                                                            Tachysphex (13)


15. Hindwing jugal lobe at most a little more than half as long as anal area

                                                                                                Tribe Bembecini

                                                                                                            Bicyrtes (5)

                                                                                                            Microbembex (1)

                                                                                                            Stictia (1)

                                                                                                            Bembix (8)

                                                                                                            Stictiella (2)

                                                                                                            Glenostictia (1)


16. Propodeum with a small, sharp dorsal tooth posterolaterally

                                                                                                Tribe Alyssonini (part)

                                                                                                            Alysson (7)

16. Propodeum not distinctly toothed



17. Antennal sockets placed above clypeus by at least one-third of a socket diameter, forewing with three submarginal cells


17. Antennal sockets touching clypeus, or if not, then forewing with fewer than three submarginal cells



18. Hindfemur ending in a flattened plate or truncation


   Tribe Cercerini

                                                                                                            Cercerus (25)

18. Hindfemur ending normally



19. Inner orbits angulate


                                                            Tribe Philanthini

                                                                                                            Philanthus (6)


19. Inner orbits straight or smoothly curved


                               Tribe Aphilanthopsini

                                                                                                            Aphilanthops (2)

                                                                                                            Clypeadon (1)


20. Inner orbits angulate, often only one submarginal cell in forewing

                                                                                                Tribe Trypoxylonini

                                                                                                            Trypoxylon (14)

20. Inner orbits not angulate



21. Forewing with more than one submarginal cell, or more than two discoidal cells, or both (subdiscoidal cell counted as discoidal cell)


21. Forewing with one submarginal cell and one or two discoidal cells



22. Inner orbits converging strongly below


                                 Tribe Bothynotstethini

                                                                                                            Bothynostethus (1)


22. Inner orbits not converging strongly below


               Tribe Miscophini

                                                                                                            Lyroda (2)

                                                                                                            Plenoculus (1)

                                                                                                            Solierella (4)

                                                                                                            Miscophus (1)


23. Forewing with two well defined discoidal cells in addition to the submarginal cell

                                                                                                Tribe Crabronini

                                                                                                            Anacrabro (1)

                                                                                                            Entomognathus (3)

                                                                                                            Lindenius (3)

                                                                                                            Rhopalum (4)

                                                                                                            Moniaecera (1)

                                                                                                            Crossocerus (13)

                                                                                                            Crabro (15)

                                                                                                            Enoplolindenius (1)

                                                                                                            Ectemnius (16)

                                                                                                            Lestica (2)


23. Forewing with only one discoidal cell

                                   Tribe Oxybelini

                                                                                                            Belomicrus (1)

                                                                                                            Oxybelus (15)