Ancistrocerus gazella♀︎

Platyedra subcinerea (Mallow seed moth)

Last update: 20 December 2023
garden
species


Uncommon

LOCATION: Krimpen aan den IJssel, garden

OBSERVATION:
2023-VI-23


In our garden Common mallow (Malva sylvestris) is part of the hunting grounds of the potterwasp Ancistrocerus gazella [1]. Flying around the plant she will check out all the closed flowers for the presence of a possible inhabiting caterpillar.

Ancistrocerus gazella ♀︎, on Common mallow (Malva sylvestris) searching for prey

Later on the day she seemed to be successful. Agitated she started gnawing holes in the flower. In previous encounters I’ve observed the mandibles are used to pinch the flower in an effort to push the larva in the direction of a gnawed hole. Through one of the gnawed holes I could make up the head of a frantic caterpillar that nervously tried to flee in opposite away from the wasp.

Ancistrocerus gazella ♀︎, on Common mallow (Malva sylvestris) hunting a Mallow seed moth (Platyedra subcinerea) larva
Ancistrocerus gazella ♀︎, on Common mallow (Malva sylvestris) hunting a Mallow seed moth (Platyedra subcinerea) larva
Ancistrocerus gazella ♀︎, on Common mallow (Malva sylvestris) hunting a Mallow seed moth (Platyedra subcinerea) larva

A full disc forced me to interrupt the observation. On return with a new one the wasp unfortunately had left already. To my surprise the larva suddenly appeared in one of the holes, crawled through it and fell to the ground. There it kept crawling around until it disappeared between some stone in a wall. The Mallow seed moth (Platyedra subcinerea) larva lives inside the flower that is closed with silk and feeds on the developing seeds.

Mallow seed moth ♀︎ (Platyedra subcinerea), on Common mallow (Malva sylvestris)

References

1 Nederlands Soortenregister

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.