Oxybelus Wasp with non-dipteran prey

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Ed Phillips
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 13/05/2012 - 08:41
Oxybelus Wasp with non-dipteran prey

I noticed a small aggregation of nest holes in a local sandy path in Staffordshire today. The holes were visited by small black wasps and I managed a rather poor photograph of one returning to the area with prey impaled on its sting. I'm pretty sure this is an Oxybelus sp. because of the impaling behaviour - the cream-coloured abdominal markings are just discernible too.

I have read that Oxybelus prey on diptera. I'm not sure what this prey item was; but not a dipteran. Is this unusual?

I shall return to the area and attempt some better photographs. I understand that O. uniglumis is the only species reported in Staffordshire.

Ian Cross
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 13/05/2012 - 19:48
Oxybelus unusual prey

Not convinced this is Oxybelus: the cream markings on Oxybelus are quite crisp and on the top of the abdomen, also the legs are pale. I wonder if this is something like Lindenius albilabris? It's an all-black wasp but sometimes the fuzz of minute hairs under the abdomen can look like pale areas in certain lights. Lindenius albilabris also preys on Hemiptera - often Miridae which this prey item seems to be.

This theory doesn't explain the prey carriage though. Lindenius carries prey slung underneath but perhaps this particular prey item was displaced when the wasp alighted. It doesn't seem to be impaled as Oxybelus does as, in that case, the prey usually sticks out quite rigidly from the tip of the abdomen.

I agree more photos are required - I await these with interest.

Ian

Nigel Jones
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 7 hours ago
Joined: 11/11/2011 - 20:07
I agree with Ian, It does not

I agree with Ian, It does not look right for Oxybelus. Lindenius is a good suggestion. More photos, or video even would be good.

Ed Phillips
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 13/05/2012 - 08:41
Lindenius?

Ian/Nigel

Thanks so much for your comments and advice. It's so easy to add 2 and 2 and get 5!

I went back to the site today. There are dozens of holes (~2mm). I sat for ages by one that had a pair of antennae sticking out. When the occupant finally emerged it was a tiny Lasioglossum bee. So not all holes have the wasp in question?

I did see one wasp, but just the head (see photo). There was also another hole that had a mirid-type bug lying in the opening (similar to the original prey item), but I didn't see any wasp activity in that hole. It was overcast and very windy today; I'll return again soon.

Thanks again

Ed ...

Ed Phillips
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 13/05/2012 - 08:41
Lindenius?

Back to the site today. No nest provisioning witnessed, but did get a couple of shots of wasps. Not sure if I have different species here or just different sexes. The "white abdominal markings" do as you suggest, seem to be light reflecting from hairs.

Log in or register to post comments