Natural History Photographs

Interactions among animals: predation

Wasps as predator



The Crabronidae includes a large number of nest-providing predators, but also a few ectoparasitoids that provision their larvae with such large prey that they need only a single host. The Crabronidae show that the distinction between parasitoid and predator is sometimes quite fuzzy, especially if the same species sometimes provide its larva with a single host, and sometimes with two, if they are too small. These observations also apply to the Sphecidae below.

Source: O'Neill, K.M. 2001. Solitary wasps: Behavior and Natural History, p. 58.
Tachysphex nitidus
Authority:(Spinola, 1805)
Deutsch:Prächtiger Heuschreckenjäger
Appelscha, the Netherlands; 26 May 2012.
Tachysphex panzeri
Authority:(Vander Linden, 1829)
Deutsch:Panzers Heuschreckenjäger
Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen, the Netherlands; 24 July 2010.
Mellinus arvensis
Authority:(Linné, 1758)
Nederlands:Gewone vliegendoder
Deutsch:Gelber Herbstfliegenjäger
Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 21 September 2008.

Prionyx crudelis
Göksü delta (Mersin), Turkey; 16 June 2011.

A very large wasp, predator/parasitoid of large grasshoppers.
Prionyx kirbii
Nederlands:Kirby's langsteelgraafwesp
Karadere (Muğla), Turkey; 8 June 2009.
Provides its larva with grasshoppers, either self-caught or by stealing them from other wasps. Source: Polidori, C. et al. 2006: A note on facultative kleptoparasitism in Prionyx kirbii [...] Entomol. Fennica 17: 405 - 413

Vespa crabro
Authority:Linnaeus 1758
Deutsch:Europäische Hornisse
Drents-Friese Woud, the Netherlands; 30 July 2010.

Vespa orientalis
Karadere (Muğla), Turkey; 9 June 2009.
cf. allobrogus
Authority:(Saussure, 1856)
Öland, Sweden; 15 June 2016.