Subfamily Crabroninae - Sand-loving Wasps and Sand-dauber Wasps

Family Crabronidae

This page contains pictures and information about Sand-loving Wasps subfamily Crabroninae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia. Some reference named this subfamily as Larrinae.
Wasps in this subfamily Crabroninae are medium to large in size, with long body and usually black (and orange), more elongate than Bembicinae. They have spiny-legged and frequently with deformed ocelli. They generally provision with Orthoptera. Some species provision with spiders

Larrini - Sand-loving Wasps

Wasps in tribe Larrini are medium size. They have the hind ocelli modified, sometimes with near-complete loss of the lens. Orbits straight. Australian species prey on Orthoptera. The Australian species include Larra, Liris, Tachytes and Tachysphex.
Black Sand-loving Wasp
DSC_8886.jpg (104594 bytes) DSC_6922.jpg (291046 bytes) 
Tachysphex sp., body length 15mm
The Black Sand-loving Wasp is entirely shiny black in colour. We recognized the wasp in this tribe by the wing vein pattern. More information can be found in this page.
Grey Sand-loving Wasp
wpe26.jpg (29219 bytes) DSCN4079.jpg (321633 bytes)
? Larra sp., body length 15mm
Pictures were taken in a bush near Mt Cotton during mid winter. The wasp was searching among the plant materials on the ground. Please check this page for more information.


Wasps in tribe Miscophini have the Orbits straight and hind ocelli normal. They prey on different insects and spiders. The Australian species include Sericophorus, Sphodrotes,  Auchenophorus, Lyroda and Nitelaand.

Trypoxylonini - Sand-dauber Wasps

Wasps in tribe Trypoxylonini have the emarginated eyes. They prey on spiders. They are usually black and some with orange-yellow colours. The Australian species include Trypoxylon and Pison.
Brown Sand-dauber Wasp
wpe1.jpg (31191 bytes) DSC_5473.jpg (264154 bytes) wpe6.jpg (27039 bytes)
Pison sp.,  nest size 30x40mm, wasp body length 12mm 
We found this small mud nest under a shrub in late summer 2006. There was one small hole on the nest. We brought it home to see what would come out. Few days later we found four small brown wasps came out. We have more records on this page.
Black Sand-dauber Wasp I
PC9_2388.jpg (269280 bytes) PC9_2391.jpg (156655 bytes)
Pison sp.,  body length 10mm 
We saw this wasp collecting mud on footpath in Carbrook Wetland on Sep 2009. Please check this page for more information.
Black Sand-dauber Wasp II
PWC_6783.jpg (246188 bytes) PWC_6798.jpg (170270 bytes)
Pison sp., body length 15mm 
The wasps spend most of their time on collecting mud and build the hanging nest. From reference information, the wasp prey on spiders. We had opened one empty cell and found some spider body remains. Please check this page for more information.
Mud Nest Tenant Wasp
wpe5.jpg (27333 bytes) PWC_8363.jpg (139764 bytes) DSC_1979d.jpg (59829 bytes) 
? Pison sp., body length 15mm 
Dec 2008 in Karawatha Forest, we saw this wasp, it seems collecting mud for mud-cells. We believed this wasp re-use the empty mud cells of the Mud-Dauber Wasp as its own nest for the young. Details please check this page


Wasps in Crabronini which does not have the sub-marginal and discoidal cells fused. In Australia this is a small tribe. 

1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 991.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p299.
3. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009. 
4. Sphecidae - Insects of Townsville, Australia - Graeme Cocks.

Back to Top

Up ] [ Crabroninae ] Bembicinae (previously Nyssoninae) ] Philanthinae ]


See us in our Home page. Download large pictures in our Wallpaper web page. Give us comments in our Guest Book, or send email to us. A great way to support us is to buy the CD from us.  
Last updated: July 14, 2012.