Taxonomy

Podalonia affinis | Mud Wasp

Distribution

Status

Conservation status

Not Assessed

Species Biology

Identification

  • Body length: 13-21mm
  • Relatively hairless species with elongate body shape
  • Primarily black in colour with the anterior end of the abdomen a reddish-orange 
  • Could be confused with Ammophila sabulosa, but this species has a more slender body shape and a longer petiole (the narrow section of the abdomen). So far, the two species are not found at the same sites in Ireland

Habitat

Restricted to sandy dune systems in the southeast of the island. Sunny, sheltered sites with a southerly aspect are particularly favoured.

Flight period

Univoltine, flying from May-August.

Nesting biology

Nests in sand dunes with a warm southerly aspect, sometimes in loose aggregations. The female will construct a burrow up to 7cm beneath the sand and deposit several large noctuid moth caterpillars inside. She will later lay her eggs on the caterpillars, which are then used to feed the newly-hatched wasp larvae. The larvae pupate inside the burrow and emerge the following year. This species can be territorial and females will occasionally rob caterpillars from the nests of other females. 

Flowers visited

Flowers are rarely visited, but it has been observed on composite flowers. 

Native region

Europe, Temperate Asia

Similar species

  • Ammophila sabulosa (see above)

Distribution

World distribution(GBIF)

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2023

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How can you help

This is a local species in Ireland known only from a limited number of sites in Cos. Wicklow and Wexford.  It would be useful to determine whether this species exists elsewhere in Ireland. Sand dunes along the south coast may provide suitable habitat and it would be beneficial to search these sites.

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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