New garden species

Bee hotel

Spilomena troglodytes♂︎

Last update: 17 September 2021


LOCATION: Krimpen aan den IJssel, garden


At the end of the day under a setting sun, around 19:20, I was observing a lone Passaloecus wasp on the bee hotel busy closing her nest. Then an seemingly miniature version of the same wasp appeared that was clearly looking for a place to sleep. It had to be a Crabronidae so in order to see it better I caught it. Under the camera it turned out to be a male Spilomena, a genus of tiny wasps. This male is ±3mm in length.

It was very hard to get useful pictures but in the end it was clear this was a male S. Troglodytes, a rare species but the most common of the genus Spilomena in the Netherlands [2].

Spilomena troglodytes ♂︎
Spilomena troglodytes ♂︎

Male Spilomena have nicely looking yellow face.

Spilomena troglodytes ♂︎

The tiny wasp remained hyper active and would only stop for very short intervals which made it difficult to photograph the proper details. So I tend to photograph these active wasps in the evening and/or during the night because often they will become more slow, assumedly due to sleep. A trick that often works is covering the dish with the wasp for some time using a thick cloth so it turns dark and making the wasp relax and still. This also failed so I decided to wake it with a morning photo session. So I left the dish covered and with a fresh cotton filled with sugar water. Indeed the next morning the wasp was sitting very still. But on closer inspection he was not responsive at all and seemed exhausted. I tried to revitalize him with sugar water but failed as he would not drink any more and shortly after he passed away.


1 Nederlands Soortenregister

2 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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