Tachytes crassus


This is a medium-sized black wasp approximately 1/2 - 5/8 inch or 13 - 17 mm in length.   The green eyes are distinctive for the genus.  The antennae are black.  The legs and wings are a tawny color.  There are short, golden hairs on the thorax and head.

This is an uncommon wasp in Fontenelle Forest.  It has been photographed in Fontenelle Forest in mid-July nectaring  on Swamp Milkweed at the blind in the Great Marsh and in the restored wetlands butterfly garden, in mid-September nectaring on goldenrod and in Neale Woods in mid-August nectaring on Snow-on-the-mountain in the butterfly garden.


This is a solitary “sand-loving wasp” in the subfamily Crabroninae, Square-headed Wasps. The female digs burrows with several individual cells in sand and provisions her nest with paralyzed grasshoppers and katydids.  She lays an egg in each and then seals the cell.  Males are often more numerous than females and sometimes form leks with loose congregations from which females can select a mate.

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Tachytes sp. on Swamp Milkweed

Tachytes sp. on Swamp Milkweed

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