European beewulf ♀︎♂︎

Last update: 28 August 2020
SPECIES: European beewulf (Philanthus triangulum)
GENUS: PHILANTHUS
FAMILY: Digger wasps (CRABRONIDAE)



OBSERVATION:
2021-VIII-062021-VIII-052021-IX-062021-IX-052020-VIII-282020-VIII-242020-VIII-212020-VIII-092020-IX-042019-VIII-302019-VIII-162016-VII-17

YEARS:
2016201920202021

MONTHS:
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec


European beewulf ♀︎ (Philanthus triangulum)

1. DISTRIBUTION

The wasp is a common species in the Netherlands [1,2].

That’s not the case for the garden, which she visited for the first time in 2019.

2. BEHAVIOUR

2.1. ACTIVITY

The species is active from end of May up to the beginning of october [1].

2.2. DEVELOPMENT

The wasp builds nests in the ground that may consist of 3 to 34 cells [1].

The larvae are fed with primarilly Honey bees that are actively caught by the female. Per cell 3 to 6 bees are supplied [1].

Only with high exceptions other bee genera are used [1]:

  • Andrena (Mining bees)
  • Dasypoda
  • Halictus (Sweat bees)
  • Lasioglossum (Sweat bees)
  • Megachile (Leafcutter bees)
European beewulf ♀︎ (Philanthus triangulum)

Haar jachtmethode kent een aantal stappen:

  1. Eerst vliegt ze een aantal keer over de plant om de potentiële slachtoffers te bekijken
  2. Als ze een slachtoffer heeft gespot stort ze zicht uit vlucht op haar
  3. In de schermutseling die daarop volgt steekt ze het slachtoffer om haar te verlammen
  4. Daarna houdt ze met haar poten en kaken de honingbij in bedwang tot die niet meer tegenstribbelt.

Terwijl ik haar observeerde bleek stap 4 vaak de lastigste en viel haar prooi op de grond. Het leek erop dat het ongelukken waren en niet opzettelijk. Nadat de prooi op de grond was gevallen had ze er geen interesse meer in en ging op zoek naar de volgende. na enige dagen lagen er verschillende dode bijen onder de plant.

Honey bee ♀︎ (Apis mellifera), dead victim of European beewulf

3. IDENTIFICATION

European beewulf ♂︎ (Philanthus triangulum)

The female has a length of 12-17 mm, the male has a length of 8-15 mm [1]. She has a stricking appearance as result of her size and yellow abdomen.

The species can be recognised by the following characteristics [3].

1. Three submarginal cells

European beewulf ♀︎ (Philanthus triangulum), frontwing with 3 submarginal cells

2. Inner edge of the eye with indentation

European beewulf ♀︎ (Philanthus triangulum), inner edge eye with indentation

3. Tergites with yellow spots

European beewulf ♀︎ (Philanthus triangulum), tergites with yellow spots

4. Females without pygidium

European beewulf ♀︎ (Philanthus triangulum), abdomen without pygidium

5. Upperside propodeum densely punctuated and haired

European beewulf ♀︎ (Philanthus triangulum), dense punctuation and hairs on propodeum

Females

  1. Front edge clypeus with two teeth
European beewulf ♀︎ (Philanthus triangulum), teeth on clypeus

2. Clypeus without long hairs

European beewulf ♀︎ (Philanthus triangulum)

3. Red colored rounded long spots behind the eye

European beewulf ♀︎ (Philanthus triangulum), red rounded elongated spot behind eye

4. Tarsus frontleg with tarsal comb [4]

European beewulf ♀︎ (Philanthus triangulum), tarsus frontleg with tarsal comb

Males

1. Frons with triangular crown shaped yellow spot

European beewulf ♂ (Philanthus triangulum), face with crownshaped yellow spot

2. Clypeus with long hairs

European beewulf ♂︎(Philanthus triangulum), clypeus with long haris and triangular shape on frons

3. Yellow colored rounded long spots behind the eye

European beewulf ♂ (Philanthus triangulum), yellow spot behind eye

References

1 Peeters, T.M.J., H. Nieuwenhuijsen, J. Smit, F. van der Meer, I.P. Raemakers, W.R.B. Heitmans, C. van Achterberg, M. Kwak, A.J. Loonstra, J. de Rond, M. Roos & M. Reemer 2012. De Nederlands bijen (Hymennoptera: Apidae s.l.). - Natuur van Nederland 11, Naturalis Biodiversity Center & European Invertebrate Survey - Nederland, Leiden.

2 Waarneming.nl

3 Hermann Dollfuss, "Bestimmungsschlüssel der Grabwespen Nord- und Zentraleuropas (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae) mit speziellen Angaben zur Grabwespenfauna Österreichs", Publikation der Botanischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft am O.Ö.Landesmuseum Linz, LINZ, 20. Dezember 1991

4 KLEIN, Wim. De graafwespen van de Benelux. Jeugdbondsuitgeverij, Utrecht, 1996, 1-130. + KLEIN, Wim. De graafwespen van de Benelux: supplement. Jeugdbondsuitgeverij, 1999.

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