terminal mummy wasp

(Aleiodes terminalis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

terminal mummy wasp

 

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

Four to six generations per year: late May to late September

Habitat

Fields

Size

Total Length: 3 16 to 5 16 (5 to 8 mm)

         
         
         
          Photo by Alfredo Colon

Identification

Terminal mummy wasp is a small, slender, parasitic wasp. It occurs in the eastern United States from Maine and Virginia in the east to North Dakota, Colorado, and and Oklahoma in the west. It is very common in the east, and may be the most common mummy wasp (genus Aleiodes) in eastern North America.

Adults are orange and black, slender, and 3 16 to 5 16 (5 to 8 mm) long.

The head is black. There are two large compound eyes at the side of the head and three small simple eyes (ocelli) in a triangle on the top of the head. The distance between each lateral ocellus and the nearest compound eye is about equal to the width of the ocellus. The long, thread-like, antennae have 55 to 62 segments. They are brown in the middle, black at the tip.

The front part of the body (mesosoma) is entirely black. The pronotum is more or less triangular in profile, and extends nearly to the bases of the wings. The first abdominal segment is fused to the thorax and gives the thorax the appearance of having four segments. The small plates covering each wing base (tegula) is yellow.

The remaining segments of the abdomen (metasoma) has four segments. The first two segments of the metasoma are orange, the last two black. The third segment is sometimes partially orange. The first segment is narrower at the base than at the tip, and has a longitudinal ridge in the middle. The first three segments are sculptured. On the female, the ovipositor is short, rises in front of the tip of the abdomen, and cannot be withdrawn.

The wings are clear but lightly tinted brown. The thickened leading edge (costal area) of the forewing does not have a cell. In the lower part of the forewing there is only a single recurrent (backward-turning) vein, not two veins forming a cell, as in the ichneumonid wasps. The first cubital cross-vein (1cu-a) crosses after the first medius vein (1M) by more than twice its length. On the hind wing, vein RS is straight, and the m-cu vein is a short stub.

The legs are orange and black. The second part of the leg (trochanter) has two segments. On the hind leg, the fourth segment (tibia) is black with a broad, yellowish-white band near the base. The end part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has five segments. The terminal segment has a pair of claws at the tip. The claws are not toothed. On the hind leg, all segments of the tarsus are black.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Caterpillars of Noctuidae (owlet moths)

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

The female inserts an egg into the caterpillar of an owlet moth. The larva consumes the living caterpillar, eventually killing it. It completes its development and pupates within the mummified remains of the caterpillar. The appearance of the mummified host is an important feature in identifying the wasp inside. Adults are short-lived. Females live about 32 days, males about 16 days. There are four to six generations per year.

 
Behavior

Adults are active at night and are attracted to lights.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30.


Comments

Taxonomy
Several wasps formerly classified in the genus Rogas are not recognized as belonging to the genus Aleiodes. Terminal mummy wasp was formerly classified as Rogas terminalis.


Taxonomy

Order:

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)

 

Suborder:

Apocrita (ants, bees, true wasps)

 

Infraorder:

Terebrantes

 

Superfamily:

Ichneumonoidea (braconids and ichneumons)

 

Family:

Braconidae (braconid wasps)

 

Subfamily:

Rogadinae

 
Subordinate Taxa

 

 
Synonyms

Rogas terminalis

 
Common
Names

terminal mummy wasp


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Gaster

The bulbous part of the abdomen of ants, bees, and wasps. In ants it usually begins at segment three.

 

Mesosoma

In Hymenoptera: the front part of the body, consisting of all three segments of the thorax and the first segment of the abdomen, to which the wings are attached.

 

Metasoma

In Hymenoptera: the armored rear part of the body, consisting of the second segment of the abdomen and all segments posterior to it.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Ovipositor

A long needle-like tube on the abdomens of some female insects, used to inject eggs into soil or plant stems.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

Tegula

A small, hardened, plate or flap-like structure that overlaps the base of the forewing of insects in the orders Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Homoptera.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this insect.

Alfredo Colon


  terminal mummy wasp    

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
     
     
     
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this insect.

     
     

Other Videos

 
     
     
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Report a sighting of this insect.

Alfredo Colon
7/31/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

terminal mummy wasp


     
     
 

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   

 


 

 

Binoculars

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2019 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.