Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Potter Wasps, Mason Wasps.

Adults small to large; 8–16 mm long. Solitary insects.

Head. Eyes emarginate. Antennal segments (10–)12 (females), or (10–)13 (males). Antennae geniculate, or not geniculate. The mandibles long and crossed over when at rest.

Thorax. Thorax black and yellow. Pronotum deeply indented or emarginate at the back; long, extending back to the tegulae. Cenchri absent. Wings present; folded longitudinally when at rest. Fore-wings with a conspicuous pterostigma; with the venation well developed. Closed fore-wing cells 6–10. Submarginal cells 3. Hind-wings with closed cells. Mid and hind tibiae with one spur only. Mid tibiae with one spur. Hind femur without a well defined trochantellus. Hind tibiae with spurs specialised for a cleaning rôle.

Abdomen. The abdomen with a marked basal constriction; long petiolate, or short-waisted. The ‘waist’ simple. Visible abdominal segments 6 (females), or 7 (males). The gaster colour-patterned; black and yellow. Ovipositor of females not visibly protruding; modified as a retractable sting.

Larvae. Larvae legless or the legs vestigial; feeding on prey collected and stored by the adults (insects, often caterpillars).

British representation. Species in Britain 22; Ancistrocerus, Eumenes, Euodynerus, Gymnomerus, Microdynerus, Odynerus, Pseudepipona and Symmorphus.

Classification. Suborder Apocrita; Series Aculeata; Superfamily Vespoidea.

Illustrations. • Ancistrocerus parietinus (B. Ent. 137). • Ancistrocerus parietinus (detail: B. Ent. 137). • Ancistrocerus parietinus (dissections: B. Ent. 137). • Ancistrocerus parietinus: B. Ent. 137, legend+text. • Ancistrocerus parietinus: B. Ent. 137, text, cont.. • Eumenes atricornis Fab., = E. coronatus, but cf. Eumenes coarctatus. B. Ent. 013. • Eumenes atricornis Fab.: B. Ent. 013, legend+text. • Eumenes atricornis Fab.: B. Ent. 013, text cont.. • Ancistrocerus, Odynerus, Symmorphus (Saunders XXI). • Pseudepipona herrichii (female, Saunders XX). • Eumenes coarctatus, Symmomorphus mutinensis (Saunders XXII). Symmomorphus mutinensis (f). Eumenes coarctatus (f).

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera. Version: 16th May 2016.’.