Ammophila sabulosa

Common Sand Wasp ( Ammophila sabulosa )

The common sand wasp ( Ammophila sabulosa ) is a Hymenoptera of the family Sphecidae. The species is common in Central Europe and not at risk.


The animals reach a body length of 16-24 millimeters (females ) or 14 to 19 millimeters ( male ), making them the largest sand wasps in Central Europe. The thorax is black as well as the head and slightly longer haired than the other sand wasps. The mesothorax is also hairy on the back. The abdomen is the front of the constriction black, the middle area is orange-red, the rear half is black and has a more or less pronounced blue glow. The second cubital cell is different from the similar field sand wasp ( Ammophila campestris ) not stalked. The propodeum is completely hairy. The third cubital cell of forewing is trapezoidal. The species can be confused with the other sand wasp species, but is clearly distinguished from them with knowledge of the characteristics.


The common sand wasp is in Europe and Asia, north to about the Arctic Circle and east spread to Mongolia. It rises in the mountains up to 2000 meters above sea level. It is most commonly found everywhere in Central Europe, but occurs in low population densities, although it is the most common Sandwespenart here. They are found in sandy, slightly overgrown places, such as in sand and gravel pits, or on sparsely vegetated slopes, but also in urban areas. She flies partially in two generations from mid-May to October.

Way of life

Unlike the three-phase sand wasp ( Ammophila pubescens) the Common Sand Wasp transports only one or two - sometimes very large - caterpillars to their nest. Caterpillars are preferably captured by owls moths ( Noctuidae ), which are hairless. The caterpillar is taken with the mandibles and brought about several meters walk to the nest. Maximum short flight jumps are made ​​, even if the prey is small, what is the type also differs from the three-phase sand wasp. Again and again the prey is stored for orientation. The nest, in which only one cell is created, reaches a depth of 5 to 20 cm. The sand excavation of the nest is taken away on foot and dropped close to the nest. The company is not brood care, nest entrance is after entering the prey and oviposition closed by a stone or something similar and then covered with sand. Then the soil is around the nest entrance upright with the head or with a stone that is worn with the mandibles, tamped. Occasionally the nest is broken by conspecifics and the prey is stolen. Overall, a female invest up to 10 nests, which usually happens within a radius of about 150 meters.