I saw a new type of wasp today. Well, new to me, anyway. They’ve been around for a while. The genus Philanthus are known, collectively, as beewolves, because they prey on bees. The female hunts for bees, buries them in brood tunnels, and lays an egg on each. When the larvae hatch, they have a nice, readily available food supply.
This particular species, Philanthus gibbosus is the most common of the north American species. It’s not all that big, between 15 and 18mm in length but it’s brightly marked with yellow. You can see the three simple eyes (ocelli) on the top of the head, although if you didn’t know they were there, you might not notice them. This wasp, like many others in our yard, it particularly fond of the mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum).