Crabro crirarius wasp (Cavenham Heath NR)

Crabro crirarius wasp with spade like front legs

Crabro crirarius wasp with spade like front legs which you can just about make out in the photos , they are grey in colour.

Crabro crirarius wasp with spade like front legs

Distribution
A local species but widely distributed throughout much of Britain and the Channel Islands.

Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being threatened.

Habitat
This wasp is mainly associated with light, sandy soils, such as lowland heaths and coastal dunes and landslips. However, it is also encountered on heavier soils, being known, for example, from open woodland and chalk grassland.

Flight period
Apparently single-brooded; late June to mid-September.

Prey collected
Paralysed Diptera of the families Therevidae, Asilidae, Empididae, Syrphidae and the superfamily Muscoidea (Richards, 1980).

Nesting biology
The nest burrows are excavated in the soil and extend for 15-20 cm. Each main burrow ends in a cell, and later two or three cells are constructed at the end of short, lateral branches (Lomholdt, 1976).The cells are provisioned with five to eight flies (Lomholdt, 1976). Continental nests have also been found in decayed wood (Kohl, 1915); indeed, British specimens of this wasp have occasionally been seen alighting on wood.

Flowers visited
This species mainly visits species of umbellifers (Apiaceae), including wild angelica, wild parsnip, hogweed and wild carrot. It also visits creeping thistle.

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