The Wikipedia entry for the Tribe Alyssontini reads as follows: “The Alyssontini are a small tribe of small Bembicine wasps.”
And that’s it.
The lack of easily readable information about this group of Sand Wasps reinforces the vast diversity of life, that an entire group of insects with 65 known species (according to the Catalog of Sphecidae.) is so poorly known. To me, it’s exciting. What could each of those species be doing. What might their stories be? There are a few things I can say about this group, entirely gathered from the chapter about this Tribe in The Sand Wasps.
The Tribe Alyssontini are known for being adapted to cooler environments than many other Sand Wasps. Like many of the Sand Wasps, they collect Homoptera (Bug “hoppers”) of various families, mostly Cicadellidae (Leafhoppers). They make their nests in somewhat harder soil than many other Sand Wasps, and have relatively stout mandibles which they use to loosen this harder substrate for nest construction.
For my Introduction to the Sand Wasp Series of posts, go here!
Evans, Howard E. and O’Neill, Kevin M. The Sand Wasps: Natural History and Behavior, 2007.