Small Zebra Spider Wasp
S4, Male, Face
Tiny Zebra Spider Wasp
Female, dorsal, wings open
|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Order:||Ant Bee Wasps (Hymenoptera)|
|Family:||Zebra Spider Wasp (Wasp: Pompilidae: Pompilinae) iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Small Zebra Spider Wasp (Ctenostegus sp)|
|This Photo:||S5, Male, Antenna|
Thank you Dr Paul Whitington for confirming the id of this species for us
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
Females & Males are similar size, ~7 to ~10.5mm long (body & head), wingspan ~15mm
Note the stripes are less distinct, more grey than silvery white (compared to the most Turneromyia sp).
The males have quite a different abdomen shape to females, as well as proportionally thicker antennae. Females have 10 flagellomeres & males have 11
Also note the 2 sub-marginal cells on the wing venation; diagnostic for this genus. We first discovered this years ago thru this excellent image by Tony Daley, Insects of Tasmania, showing the wing venation difference between Turneromyia & Ctenostegus: Wing Venation Difference
To our eyes, this looks EXACTLY the same as T. bassiana; but wing venation proves they are different genera.
Paul said "Wing venation is a match to figs.2-12 in Evans, H.E. "A revision of spider wasps of the genus Ctenostegus" Aust.J.Zool. Suppl.Ser. 1976, 43: 1-107. In his paper "A revision of spider wasps of the genus Turneromyia" Aust.J.Zool. Suppl.Ser. 1984, 101: 1-59, Evans states that the distinguishing feature to the closely related pompilid species Turneromyia is the presence of 3 submarginal cells in the forewing of Turneromyia vs. 2 submarginal cells in Ctenostegus."
We have photographed 5 specimens in Jan, Mar, May, Oct & Nov.
Similar Species: Black Sand-dauber Wasp (Crabronidae sp) : Tiny Zebra Spider Wasp (Turneromyia bassiana)