The Sphecidae & Crabronidae are cosmopolitan and represented worldwide, with over 7700 species described to date. The Crabronidae have been often treated as a sub-family of Sphecidae (Crabroninae), however recent phylogenic studies have elevated it to the family rank ( W.J. Pulawski; 2007)

The Sphecidae family comprises of three subfamilies, Ammophilinae, Sceliphrinae and Sphecinae. It is cosmopolitan and to date approximately 660 species have been described.
The Sceliphrinae (mud-dauber wasp) often built multiple amphora like cells out of fine clay and sand mixed with saliva. Adults of the two other subfamilies construct their nest out of pre-existing cavities or more often dig them out of the ground.

The Crabronidae family comprises of nine sub-families, Astatinae, Bembicinae, Crabroninae, Dinetinae, Eremiaspheciinae, Mellininae, Pemphredoninae , Philantinae & Nyssoninae
All sub-families in this family construct cavities in soil, either from scratch or by re-utilising exisiting cavities in the ground or decayed wood.

These two families displays a broad range of behaviours, from parasitoid-like to primitive social although most species are in fact solitary. The genus Nysson being cleptoparasitic on the nest of other Sphecidae and Crabronidae. The females provide a wide range of insects and spiders as preys (adults and larvae) for its larvae such as: Araneae, Lepidoptera , Orthoptera, Dictyoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Apidae, Homoptera, Hemiptera, Psocoptera & Ephemeroptera. While the larvae are exclusively carnivorous, adults feed on flowers and sometime drink haemolymphe exuding from the sting wound of its prey

Click on the thumbnails below for larger images and biology for each species illustrated.

Isodontia diodon   Sphex diabolicus   Sphex sericeus   Prionyx sp  
Sceliphron deforme   Chalybion sp.1   Sceliphron sp.1  
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Hymenoptera:Apocrita (Aculeata):Apoidea:Sphecidae & Crabronidae
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Ectemnius sp1   Liris ducalis   Liris sp