Podalonia luffii (Saunders, E., 1903)

Description and notes

This is one of the six British species retained within the family Sphecidae, whilst the remainder of the digger wasps are placed within the Crabronidae. It is closely related to P. hirsuta (Scopoli).

Distribution

In the British Isles, recorded only from the Channel Islands.

Globally, it is found across central Europe, from France, through Germany, eastwards to Kazakhstan, with a few localities in Denmark and Sweden (Lomholdt, 1984).

Status (in Britain only)

The Channel Islands are, for a number of reasons, excluded from the geographical coverage of the British Red Data book (Shirt, 1987) and the subsequent review (Falk, 1991).

Habitat

Lomholdt (1984) suggests that this species appears to prefer areas of sand-drift in coastal localities, primarily along the Atlantic seaboard, the North Sea and parts of the Baltic. However, its presence in Austria, Slovakia and Hungary indicates that this association is not obligatory.

Flight period

No data available for the British Isles. Dollfuss (1991) gives June to September for European records.

Prey collected

No data available. Related species prey on the larvae of noctuid moths.

Nesting biology

No data available, beyond the apparent association with loose sand.

Flowers visited

No data available for the British Isles. Bitsch et al. (1997) note the species being seen at flowers of thrift and sea holly.

Parasites

No data available.

Author of profile

A Knowles.

Map compiled by: A Knowles and S P M Roberts.