Gorytes laticinctus (Garden) rare

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The rarest of the British species of Gorytes.

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Distribution
Recorded sparingly over southern England (Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Kent, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk). In the Channel Islands, found on Guernsey, Herm and Sark.

Status (in Britain only)
Listed as Rare (RDB3) in Shirt (1987) and by Falk (1991). The wasp may have declined, but it appears to have habits that render it somewhat elusive – few records have been submitted to the BWARS recorder.

Habitat
Usually associated with rough vegetation such as brambles in open situations (heathland, scrub, coastal dunes, coastal landslips and soft rock cliffs), quarries and occasionally gardens. Typically observed running over brambles and other low herbage.

Flight period
Mid-June to mid-August.

Nesting biology
Nesting occurs in light soils. P F Yeo observed a female excavating nests in the soft mortar between paving stones in his Cambridgeshire garden. The female made several excavations each day. Hamm & Richards (1930) cite a foreign account of a nest in a flower-pot. The main nest tunnel extends about 10 cm down into the soil (at which point it may continue a small distance upwards), giving rise to 3-4 short side tunnels with terminal cells (Lomholdt, 1975-1976). The cells are stocked with auchenorhynchus bugs such as Philaenus spumarius, Cercopis spp. and Aphrophora alni.

Flowers visited
Umbellifers such as wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), carrot (Daucus carota), hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) and water-dropworts (Oenanthe sp.).

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