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Ammophila azteca

Ammophila azteca Cameron 1888. Ammophila azteca is distributed widely throughout North America, occurring as far north as the Yukon and south to Mexico (Krombein 1979). In Michigan, it is primarily found in the UP and NLP and only rarely collected in the SLP, probably because it is a montane and northern species.

BIOLOGY: Females often maintain several nests simultaneously using progressive provisioning. The simple, shallow, one-celled nest has a vertical burrow and may contain up to nine prey. A variety of naked arboreal caterpillars in the families Gelechiidae, Geometridae, Sphingidae, and Tenthredinidae have been recorded as prey (Powell 1964, Evans 1965). My own observations at the Huron Mountain Club (Marquette Co., 29 July-4 Aug. 1984, 3 - 9 Aug. 1985, 21- 28 June 1986) revealed A . azteca utilizing pierid larvae, Faronta diffusa (Walker), Pseudeletia unipunctata (Haworth) and Morrisonia confusa (Hubner) (Noctuidae), undetermined Noctuidae, Plathypena scabra (F. ) (Geometridae), undeterrnined Geometridae; and Orgyia antiqua (L.) (Lymantriidae). The prey were captured on bracken fern, clover (Trifolium), or other low herbage and flown to the nest after being immobilized. Nests are temporarily closed between provisioning trips.

FLOWER RECORDS: Daucus carota, Rubus spp., Solidago spp., Tanacetum vulgare.

COLLECTION DATES: 200+ specimens, 17 June to 28 September, with most dates from mid-July to mid-August.

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