Chrysis fulgida Linnaeus,1761

Description and notes

Distinguished from other Chrysis species in having four distinct acute teeth on the posterior margin of the third gastral tergum, and the first gastral tergite is blue-black. Identification keys are given in Morgan (1984). Information concerning general biology is given by Kunz (1994).

Distribution

South Devon to east Kent, north to Worcestershire and Cambridgeshire. Records from 1970 onwards are from several localities in west and north-west Surrey, and north-east Hampshire.

Overseas found in Europe, and eastwards to central Asia.

Status (in Britain only)

Shirt (1987) and Falk (1991) listed this species as endangered (RDB1). Recent survey work would suggest that its status should be reviewed.

Habitat

This wasp is associated with scrubby heathland and open woodland where its hosts are found in the vicinity of aspen and creeping willow.

Flight period

British records agree with the flight period June to mid-August, as stated by Kunz (1994).

Flowers visited

No information available. 

Parasitic biology

Recent research for the UK Biodiversity Action Plan indicates that the host of Chrysis fulgida is the Eumenid wasp Symmorphus crassicornis, in agreement with the information given by Kunz (1994) (D. Baldock and M. Edwards pers. comm., 2000). S. crassicornis (see Edwards 1997is a predator of larvae and adults of the leaf beetle Chrysomela populi and is a cavity nesting species, utilising cavities in both dead wood and banks (Archer 2000). The Chrysomela larvae feed on aspen and creeping willow: young suckers of the latter are particularly favoured.

Overseas, recorded from other mason wasps, e.g. Ancistrocerus and Odynerus for example.

Author of profile

M E Archer and M Edwards.