Taxonomy

Odynerus (Odynerus) spinipes | Spiny Mason Wasp

Distribution

Status

Conservation status

Not Assessed

Species Biology

Identification

  • Body length: 9-13mm. Males smaller than females
  • Primarily black with five or six  narrow pale yellow bands on the abdomen
  • Male with a yellow face
  • Black and yellow legs with a reddish tinge
  • Can easily be confused with Ancistrocerus species and the use of a microscope and specialist keys is required. 

Habitat

Very poorly known in Ireland. It is likely to inhabit warm sheltered areas with bare vertical sandy or clay banks. Elsewhere in Europe it inhabits coastal cliffs, scrub and open woodland.

Flight period

Irish records suggest that it is univoltine in June-July, perhaps extending into May and August much like it does in Britain.

Nesting biology

This is a solitary nesting species which forms distinctive curled 'chimneys' at the entrance to the nest. These are constructed out of wet clay or sand particles; the nests themselves are usually formed on vertical clay or sandy banks with a sunny aspect. Loose aggregations may form. Females collect larvae of various Weevil species (Curculionidae) and deposit them in cells constructed within her burrow. In each cell a single egg is laid from which a larva will emerge and feed on the deposited weevil larvae. Pupation takes place and the adult wasp will emerge the following year. 

Flowers visited

No observations of this species visiting flowers have been made, although they are known to occasionally visit flowers elsewhere in their range. 

Native region

Europe, Temperate Asia

Similar species

  • Ancistrocerus species, which can often only be reliably separated with a microscope and specialist keys.

Distribution

World distribution(GBIF)

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2022

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How can you help

The only records for this species are nearly 100 years old and finding out if it still occurs on the island would be an important first step. It is likely to be found in warm sunny areas where vertical clay or sand banks exist, especially in the more southerly areas of Ireland. The nests are distinctive (see pictures below) and would be useful indicators for the species' presence. 

References

Publications

Stelfox, A. W. (1924). A List of the Hymenoptera Aculeata (Sensu Lato) of Ireland. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section B: Biological, Geological, and Chemical Science37, 201–vi. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20490329

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