Perilampus sp of wasp – Lode

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Harpactus tumidus- Fulbourn Fen

Harpactus tumidus

Description and notes
Previously classified in the genera Alysson and Dienoplus. A small red and black wasp, typically with a white scutellum and three white spots on the abdomen rendering it distinctive. Usually encountered in dry sandy locations where it is a frog-hopper predator.

Distribution
Recorded widely but sparingly across England and Wales, and extending as far north as Grantown, Elgin in Scotland. Also the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey) and a few sites in Ireland (Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow). A southern bias is exhibited and most records are concentrated within coastal districts or heathy districts inland. Local in southern England, becoming very scarce in the northern part of its range, though with a cluster of recent records in Yorkshire through the efforts of M E Archer. It is rarely common anywhere, though it is easily overlooked. Overseas, it is widely reported from north and central Europe; also southern Siberia and Japan (Lomholdt, 1975-76).
Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.
Habitat
Recorded from heathland, coastal dunes, coastal landslips, open areas in woodland, sandpits, embankments and cuttings. Within these locations, it is usually observed running rapidly over the ground or low vegetation in sparsely vegetated or short-cropped areas fully exposed to the sun. Females are likely to require taller herbage nearby for hunting.
Flight period
Univoltine; exceptionally from late May, but normally from mid-June to mid-September. Nesting biology and prey collected Nests are excavated in dry sandy soil and consist of several cells at the end of a short tunnel. Individual cells are stocked with 5 or 6 frog-hoppers, such as Philaenus and Aphrodes species; both adults and nymphs being used. The female closes the nest entrance with sand between hunting trips. (Hamm & Richards, 1930; Lomholdt, 1975-76).
Flowers visited
Umbellifers such as wild carrot and wild parsnip.
Parasites
The nyssonine wasp Nysson dimidiatus and chrysidid wasp Hedychridium roseum. Additional Nysson species attack H. tumidus abroad

Argogorytes mystaceus – Fulbourn Fen

A first for me

Distribution
Widespread in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland (Richards 1980). Clearly less frequently found in northern parts of northern England, and Scotland. Abroad, the species is found throughout much of the Palaearctic region, eastwards to the Pacific Ocean (Lomholdt, 1975-76).
Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.
Habitat
These wasps occur in sunny places, not necessarily sandy, and particularly in deciduous woodland and edges. Very much a species of sunny glades with tall, rank vegetation (M Edwards, pers. comm.).
Flight period
Univoltine; late April to June, exceptionally to September (Richards, 1980).
Prey collected
The species preys on frog-hopper nymphs (Homoptera: Cercopidae), especially those of Philaenus spumarius. The Argogorytes female is reported to land on the plant stem, walk to the spittle and then plunge her legs and sting into it (Adlerz, cited by Evans, 1966).
Nesting biology
The nest is dug in soil in dry banks in moist woodland glades (M Edwards, pers. comm.). It consists of a main burrow reaching a length of 10 cm vertically into the ground and then continuing in a fairly horizontal plane where there are several cells (Lomholdt, 1975-76). After the initial cell is constructed, prey is brought to the nest, carried in flight between the middle legs. The egg is laid on the outside of one of the hind coxae of the first prey in the cell (unusual in the Gorytini, where it is usually laid on the last). The burrow is left open whilst provisioning takes place. From 19-27 bug nymphs may be provisioned per cell (according to Adlerz) and then the next cell is constructed.
Flowers visited
Females have been sighted visiting wood spurge and honeydew on sweet chestnut leaves (pers. obs.). They are also known to visit umbellifer flowers. Males are important polllinators of the fly orchid (Ophrys insectifera). The male seeks out the flower mainly by its scent, which closely resembles the female sex attractant pheromone, and attempts to copulate with it. During this process the male receives one, or both, pollinia, which may then be transferred to the stigma of another flower (Kullenberg, 1961; Evans & Eberhard, 1970).

Crabro cribrarius – Sandy

Of the three species of Crabro which occur in Britain, C. cribrarius is the largest. Male Crabro can be readily distinguished from other medium-sized British and Irish sphecids by their conspicuous fore-tibial shields.

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.

Ancistrocerus oviventris – Coton NR

Distribution
Found throughout England, Wales, Scotland (except Orkney and Shetland), Ireland and the Channel Islands.
Overseas, occurs in many parts of Europe (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Poland, Austria, Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia), North Africa (Morocco), Asia (Transbaikal, Manchuria, Mongolia, Japan). In central Europe found in mountainous areas up to 2000 m.
Status (in Britain only)
Not listed in Shirt (1987) or Falk (1991); work for this Atlas suggests that the species is possibly declining in central and eastern England.
Habitat
Found in a wide variety of habitats: moorland, lowland heaths, clay and sandy woodlands, parkland, limestone and chalk quarries, calcareous grassland, coastal cliffs, sand dunes and urban areas (gardens and cemeteries).
Flight period
Probably univoltine; mostly May to July, sometimes during August, and rarely in April, September and October.
Prey collected
Microlepidoptera larvae, usually tortricids.
Nesting biology
A mud-dauber building with clay. Its nest consists of several cells (usually 3-5, but up to 14 have been recorded), covered by a layer of protective, camouflaging mud. Nests may be found on walls, stone columns, concrete blocks, and rocks; often using crevices and indentations. Also recorded nesting in a lock (Sheppard, 1926) and in the holes of an oak cribbage board. Initially a row of cells is built on the substrate with additional cells placed on top. Usually four or five prey are placed in each cell. The larval stage lasts about 15 days.

Auplopus carbonarius-male- Garden

Notable Species

Distribution
A generally scarce species although perhaps especially prone to under-recording through its secretive and elusive nature. It is essentially a southern species, although an old record for ‘Bridgenorth’ (Saunders 1896) may refer to Shropshire.
Status (in Britain only)
The species is not listed in the Red Data Book (Shirt 1987), but is recognised as a Nationally Notable (Nb) species in Falk (1991).
Habitat
The wasp tends to inhabit woodland, especially that with streams and marshy areas which provide wet mud and clay for nesting materials.
Flight period
Apparently single-brooded; May to September.
Prey collected
These are most frequently spiders in the family Clubionidae, but there are other records for gnaphosids, salticids, agelenids, thomisids, lycosids, segestriids and anyphaenids.
Nesting biology
The nesting behaviour (which is summarised by Richards and Hamm (1939) and Day (1988)) is rather more complex than that of most pompilids and demonstrates tremendous versatility on the part of the female. The nests are built in cavities in a great variety of situations, non-British reports citing nests beneath stones, in stone walls, in tree stumps (often in old beetle burrows), under bark and in crevices of tree trunks, in empty galls of cynipid wasps, in empty burrows of earthworms or cicadas, in old snail shells, in beehives, in an old cloth in a garden, behind a door frame, in a loft and in an old mirror in a garden. The nests may sometimes be mixed with those of other aculeates such as Anthophora bees and Ancistrocerus wasps and, indeed, A. carbonarius may use old nest holes of these species. Females construct small, barrel-shaped cells which are laid on their side. These are manufactured from small pellets of clay obtained from damp areas, such as river banks or beneath stones, and carried to the nest site between the mandibles and a group of specialised hairs on the basal mouthparts. Water is also collected separately, probably to aid nest building. Completed nests may consist of ten or more cells (as many as 34 on one occasion) arranged in a block. These nest cells, constructed prior to prey capture, are stocked with a wide variety of spiders obtained from amongst vegetation. One prey item is placed in each cell. The wasp may fly with small prey individuals (unusual in the Pompilidae where the prey is usually dragged along the ground).
Flowers visited
These wasps may occasionally visit flowers such as spurge (G M Spooner, unpublished).
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