Chrysura hirsuta (Gerstäcker,1869)

Description and notes

In older literature this species has been referred to as Chrysis osmiae Thomson. Identification keys and general biology are given in Morgan (1984), Falk (1991) and Kunz (1994).

Distribution

Scotland only: Morayshire (Aviemore, Loch Garten), East Perth (Blair Atholl) and Wigtownshire (Whithorn). Very rarely seen.

Overseas: Fennoscandia, central Europe and the Pyrenees, Poland, north China, Korea, Japan.

Status (in Britain only)

Listed as Vulnerable (RDB2) by Shirt (1987) and provisionally downgraded to Rare (RDB3) by Falk (1991).

Habitat

Occurs in three habitats related to its three possible hosts. Blair Atholl (Osmia inermis) - upland, base-rich grassland. Loch Garten (O. uncinata) – mature Caledonian pine woodlands. Whithorn (O. parietina) - probably traditionally-managed upland pasture with old stone walls and rocky outcrops (Else & Edwards 1996).

Flight period

Probably a minimum two-year life-cycle. From the few available records, adults fly from May to July.

Flowers visited

No information available.

Parasites

No specific information found.

Parasitic biology

Krombein (1967) in Morgan (1984) describes the chrysidid larva as usually hatching a day before the egg of its host bee. From three to seven days after hatching, the Chrysura larva attaches itself to the feeding bee larva and slowly begins to eat it. The host bee spins its cocoon 17-31 days after hatching. After the host completes its cocoon and becomes quiescent, the Chrysura larva moults to its second instar and then completely devours the bee larva. Finally, the Chrysura larva spins a cocoon inside the cocoon of the bee. It is therefore a parasitoid.

Author of profile

M E Archer

Year profile last updated

2002