New garden species

pemphredon inornata♀︎

Last update: 12 April 2023


LOCATION: Krimpen aan den IJssel, garden


This small wasp of ±7,5 mm squirmed and fluttered across the garden tiles neer the bee hotels. She tried to lift off but seemed to be restricted by the mites that covered her body. The smaller ones had found a spot on especially her thorax and legs, while larger specimen had locked on to her wings. While continuously fluttering she quickly disappeared into the undergrowth which left me with some mediocre photo’s unfortunately.

pemphredon inornata ♀︎, imago

Judging by her small appearance and glossy black body it was clear this specimen was a different species of Pemphredon than earlier observed species. When she appeared shortly from the undergrowth I decided to catch her for photo identification before she would be lost again. Unfortunately she died shortly after in the flask before any photo’s were made.

pemphredon inornata ♀︎, imago
pemphredon inornata ♀︎, small mite on underside femur
pemphredon inornata ♀︎, large mites on wing, small mites on thorax

The mites remained on her body for a long time but after a few hours most of them had moved on though I was not able to recover them in the room. A few of the smaller specimen remained where they were and eventually died on the wasp (I assume they were all alive before).

pemphredon inornata ♀︎, imago

Identifying the specimen turned out to be an endeavour that resulted in a thorough study of the difficult Pemphredon Cemonus subgenus, which eventually lead to the impressive Naturalis Biodiversity Center collection where together with digger wasp expert Wim Klein her identity could be revealed as Pemphredon inornata [1], a common wasp found throughout the country but a new garden species nonetheless!

Armed with the insights obtained by the preliminary study and my photographic material it was not difficult to reach a conclusion. It was unfortunate that the species was different from P. mortifer, but it was a win-win situation for me since it either was that species or my insights on this genus would deepen further when the incorrectly interpreted characters would reveal themselves. The latter turned out to be the shape of the clypeus and the absent stair-like structure in the boundary of the dorsal propodeal area.

Pemphredon inornata ♀︎, imago
Pemphredon inornata ♀︎, dorsal propodeal area


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