Gasteruption
erythrostomum ♀︎
-Chelostoma rapunculi-

Last update: 17 June 2020
OBSERVATION:
2020-VI-132020-VI-032020-V-312020-V-302020-V-29

Gasteruption erythrostoma [1] is a rare species but is every year present on the bee hotels in the garden. Often two female and less frequently one male can be found.
This year, in 2020, up till now (June) I’ve seen five females and two males active simultaneously.
Remarkable is also the amount of Chelestoma rapunculi bees that are active in the garden and on the bee hotels in comparison to previous years. This bee enjoys the preference of G. erythrostomum [2]. Many C. rapunculi females are atively nesting in the bee hotels and fill up nest hole after nest hole. 

Even an unpopular commercial insect hotel that i received as a present and which is located in a less favourable but not bad spot is actively used by the females.

Commercial bee hotel

They nest in a small compartment with horizontally stacked reeds. I’ve not been able to observe whether they enter the reeds or nest between or behind them. They enter pretty deep into the compartment because the first layers of reeds are not accessible from the sides as they are blocked by the compartment walls.

Chelostoma rapunculi ♀︎, entering nest

Around the hotel male roam waiting for a chance to mate with the females.

Grote klokjesbij ♂︎ (Chelostoma rapunculi)
Chelostoma rapunculi ♂︎, on lookout for females
Chelostoma rapunculi ♂︎, on lookout for females

Here as well the presence of the bees has not gone unnoticed by the G. erythrostomum wasps.

Gasteruption erythrostomum ♀︎, inspecting chelostoma rapunculi nest location

The females G. erythrostomum hang in front of the bee hotels and keep a close eye out for an opportunity. It is pretty clear where the bees nest by the number of concentrated female wasps hovering in close proximity to each other.

I has directly observed twice that a G. erythrostomum female entered a C. rapunculi nest hole with a bare ovipositor, I assume to lay an egg.

Gasteruption erythrostomum ♀, infiltrating Chelostoma rapunculi nest

Here another female is staking out a C. rapunculi nest. Apparently the resident female had an eye on the wasp as well, because she suddenly appeared at the entrance, scaring away the wasp. After some time the bee returned inside and shortly the wasp appeared again. In the end the wasp left without entering the nest because the bee wisely decided not to leave the nest.

Gasteruption erythrostomum ♀︎, observing Chelostoma rapunculi nest
Gasteruption erythrostomum ♀︎, observing Chelostoma rapunculi nest
Gasteruption erythrostomum ♀︎, observing Chelostoma rapunculi nest
Gasteruption erythrostomum ♀︎, scared away by the Chelostoma rapunculi female
Gasteruption erythrostomum ♀︎, observing Chelostoma rapunculi nest
Gasteruption erythrostomum ♀︎, observing Chelostoma rapunculi nest

References

1 Nederlands Soortenregister

2 Kees van Achterberg, 2013. "de nederlandse hongerwespen (hymenoptera: evanioidea: gasteruptiidae)"

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