Hoplisoides punctuosus (Eversmann, 1849)

Description and notes

Hoplisoides punctuosus is known as Gorytes punctatus in some older literature. Hoplisoides has only recently been given generic status by British and some European authorities, as it resembles Gorytes in all but a few details. The genus Hoplisoides is found on all continents except Australia and Antarctica.

Distribution

Hoplisoides punctuosus is not found on mainland Britain but is recorded from Jersey in the Channel Islands. Unfortunately the record(s) need confirmation, as Saunders (1902) was unsure of the determinations and the specimens are not in the Natural History Museum (London) collection (Richards, 1979). H. punctuosus is mainly a central and southern species in Europe, being found in France (mainly the Mediterranean coast and Corsica, but also Normandy, Brittany and occasionally inland) and Germany, where it is considered threatened. It also occurs in north Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and Turkey (Bitsch et al., 1997).

Status (in Britain only)

Not applicable.

Habitat

The Jersey record(s) were from sand dunes on the west coast.

Flight period

No information available.

Prey collected

Hoplisoides species collect Homoptera of three taxa: Cicadellidae, Fulgoroidea and Membracidae, each wasp species limits itself (perhaps exclusively) to one of these groups. H. punctuosus preys on Tettigometra species (Fulgoroidea: Tettigometridae).

Nesting biology

The nest is dug in sandy soil, according to Ferton, who studied the species both in Provence and in Corsica (Evans, 1966). The burrow was reported to be nearly horizontal for a few centimetres and then to bend down sharply to a depth of approximately 15 cm to the horizontal cell(s). The female H. punctuosus rapidly brings in Tettigometra (several species, both nymphs and adults) and may supply as many as 60 per cell. The nest is always closed between trips for prey and the egg is laid longitudinally on the side of the underside of the last hopper in the cell. There is apparently more than one cell per burrow.

Flowers visited

No information available.

Parasites

None known but, as with other Gorytes-like genera, are likely to include nyssonine wasps of the genus Nysson and miltogrammine sarcophagid flies, both of which would destroy the egg of the host and feed on the provisioned prey.

Author of profile

G W Allen

Year profile last updated

2001