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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Hymenopterida
Ordo: Hymenoptera
Subordo: Apocrita
Superfamilia: Apoidea

Familia: Sphecidae
Tribus: Ammophilini - Chloriontini - Mendampulicini - Sceliphrini - Sphecini

Overview of genera (25)

Ammophila – Argogorytes – Chalybion – Chilosphex – Chlorion – Dynatus – Eremnophila – Eremochares – Hoplammophila – Isodontia – Palmodes – Parapsammophila – Penepodium – Pison – Podagritus – Podalonia – Podium – Prionyx – Rhopalum – Sceliphron – Sphex – Spilomena – Stangeella – Tachysphex – Trigonopsis

[source: Catalogue of Life: 2012 Annual Checklist]

Sphecidae Latreille, 1802


Alexander, B. A. 1992. An exploratory analysis of cladistic relationships within the superfamily Apoidea, with special reference to sphecid wasps. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 1: 25-61.
Bohart, R.M.; Menke, A.S. 1976: Sphecid wasps of the world: a generic revision. University of California Press: Berkeley, California. ISBN 0-520-02318-8 Google books
Latreille, P.A. 1802. Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des crustacés et des insectes. Ouvrage faisant suite à l’histoire naturelle générale et particulière, composée par Leclerc de Buffon, et rédigée par C.S. Sonnini, membre de plusieurs sociétés savantes. Familles naturelles des genres. Tome troisième. F. Dufart, Paris, xii + pp. 13–467 + [1 (errata)]. BHL Reference page.
Harris, A.C. 1994: Sphecidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera). Fauna of New Zealand, (32)

Additional references

Danilov, Yu.N. 2016. Type specimens of Sphecidae (Hymenoptera, Apoidea) in the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. Zootaxa 4136(2): 335–359. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4136.2.5. Reference page.
Jahantigh, F., Rakhshani, E., Mokhtari, A. & Ramroodi, S. 2017. Catalogue of Ampulicidae, Crabronidae and Sphecidae of Iran (Hymenoptera, Apoidea). Zootaxa 4307(1): 1–96. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4307.1.1. Reference page.

Vernacular names
日本語: アナバチ科

The Sphecidae are a cosmopolitan family of wasps of the suborder Apocrita that includes sand wasps, mud daubers, and other thread-waisted wasps.

The name Sphecidae was formerly given to a much larger grouping of wasps. This was found to be paraphyletic, so most of the old subfamilies have been moved to the Crabronidae.


The biology of the Sphecidae, even under the restricted definition, is still fairly diverse; some sceliphrines even display rudimentary forms of sociality, and some sphecines rear multiple larvae in a single large brood cell. Many nest in pre-existing cavities, or dig simple burrows in the soil, but some species construct free-standing nests of mud and even (in one genus) resin. All are predatory and parasitoidal, but the type of prey ranges from spiders to various dictyopterans, orthopteroids and larvae of either Lepidoptera or other Hymenoptera; the vast majority practice mass provisioning, providing all the prey items prior to laying the egg.

This phylogenetic tree is based on Sann et al., 2018, which used phylogenomics to demonstrate that both the bees (Anthophila) and the Sphecidae arose from within the former Crabronidae, which is therefore paraphyletic, and which they suggested should be split into several families; the former family Heterogynaidae nests within the Bembicidae, as here defined.[1] These findings differ in several details from studies published by two other sets of authors in 2017,[2][3] though all three studies demonstrate a paraphyletic "Crabronidae."




Sphecidae (sensu stricto)

Crabronidae (sensu stricto)






Anthophila (bees)

Family Sphecidae (sensu stricto)
Sceliphrinae: Sceliphron spirifex
Sceliphrinae: Chalybion californicum
Sphecinae: Sphex funerarius with prey

The old digger wasp family Sphecidae (sensu lato) was paraphyletic and has been broken up. Only the following subfamilies remain in the new family Sphecidae (sensu stricto) which is a monophyletic clade.[1]

Subfamily Ammophilinae

Ammophila W. Kirby, 1798
Eremnophila Menke, 1964
Eremochares Gribodo, 1883
Hoplammophila de Beaumont, 1960
Parapsammophila Taschenberg, 1869
Podalonia Fernald, 1927

Subfamily Chloriontinae

Chlorion Latreille, 1802

Subfamily Sceliphrinae

Chalybion Dahlbom, 1843
Dynatus Lepeletier de Saint Fargeau, 1845
†Hoplisidia Cockerell, 1906
Penepodium Menke, 1976
Podium Fabricius, 1804
†Protosceliphron Antropov, 2014
Sceliphron Klug, 1801
Trigonopsis Perty, 1833

Subfamily Sphecinae

Chilosphex Menke, 1976
Isodontia Patton, 1880
Palmodes Kohl, 1890
Prionyx Vander Linden, 1827
Sphex Linnaeus, 1758
Stangeella Menke, 1962

Both of the historical definitions of the Sphecidae (a conservative one, where all the sphecoid wasps other than ampulicids and heterogynaids were in a single large family, and a more refined one, where the seven large sphecid subfamilies were each elevated to family rank) have recently been shown to be paraphyletic, and the most recent classification is closer to the refined scheme; there are now seven families in addition to the Sphecidae and Crabronidae, all of which were formerly placed within Sphecidae.
Family Crabronidae

All the other digger wasp taxa that were formerly included in Sphecidae (sensu lato) were placed in the family Crabronidae, which was itself paraphyletic, and recent classifications have split Crabronidae into a number of smaller families, mostly formerly treated as subfamilies.[1]

Sann, Manuela; Niehuis, Oliver; Peters, Ralph S.; Mayer, Christoph; Kozlov, Alexey; Podsiadlowski, Lars; Bank, Sarah; Meusemann, Karen; Misof, Bernhard; Bleidorn, Christoph; Ohl, Michael (2018). "Phylogenomic analysis of Apoidea sheds new light on the sister group of bees". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 18 (1): 71. doi:10.1186/s12862-018-1155-8. PMC 5960199. PMID 29776336.
Branstetter, Michael G.; Danforth, Bryan N.; Pitts, James P.; Faircloth, Brant C.; Ward, Philip S.; Buffington, Matthew L.; Gates, Michael W.; Kula, Robert R.; Brady, Seán G. (2017). "Phylogenomic Insights into the evolution of stinging wasps and the origins of ants and bees". Current Biology. 27 (7): 1019–1025. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.027. PMID 28376325.

Peters, Ralph S.; Krogmann, Lars; Mayer, Christoph; Donath, Alexander; Gunkel, Simon; Meusemann, Karen; Kozlov, Alexey; Podsiadlowski, Lars; Petersen, Malte (2017). "Evolutionary history of the Hymenoptera". Current Biology. 27 (7): 1013–1018. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.01.027. PMID 28343967.


Goulet, H., Huber, J.T. (1993) Hymenoptera of the World. Agriculture Canada Research Branch, publication 1894/E. 668pp.

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