Tachysphex obscuripennis (Schenck, 1857)

Description and notes

This is probably not a native British mainland species.

Distribution

There is only one British record (a male from Deal, East Kent found in August 1882). However, the species does occur in the Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Herm and Sark).

Overseas, T. obscuripennis tends to be a southern and eastern species in Europe. It is not uncommon in north-west Africa, the Canary Islands and Turkey eastwards to the Caucasus.
 

Status (in Britain only)

Listed in Shirt (1987) and Falk (1991) as RDB Appendix (species not recorded since 1900).

Habitat

Sandy localities, coastal.

Flight period

Insufficient data from British and Channel Islands specimens are available, but on mainland Europe it is on the wing from June to August (Dollfuss, 1991).

Prey collected

Nymphs of the cockroach genus Ectobius (Richards, 1980).

Nesting biology

Tachysphex obscuripennis nests in light soils (Richards, 1980), the nest consisting of a single cell constructed at the end of a burrow 5-6 cm long and about 4 cm below the surface of the ground. Two or three lightly paralysed cock roach nymphs are place d in the cell and the egg laid transversely between the fore and mid coxae of the last nymph provisioned. The nest entrance is left open during provisioning. Some or all of the appendages of the prey may be amputated (Lomholdt, 1975-76). The development of the larva has not been described.

Flowers visited

No information available.

Parasites

No information available.

Author of profile

G W Allen.

Year profile last updated

1998