Text and photos by Gian Luca Agnoli.
In late May 2009 I had the opportunity to visit some incredible coastal biotopes of Sicily, together with Paolo Rosa and Marcello Romano, our wise and generous guide. Here are some of the most interesting pictures I've taken during our entomological campaigns.
Camera: Canon EOS 40D; lens: Canon EF 100/2.8 USM Macro; flash: Canon MR-14EX.
Chrysis elegans, Chrysis integra sicula, Chrysis perezi and many more species:
Rhodanthidium sticticum (F.) female defending the snail shell used as nest against another specimen belonging to the same species. The aggressive behaviour is clearly visible, with open mandibles and antennae and legs directed against the aggressor.
Tropidodynerus flavus (Lepeletier 1841) with a paralysed Curculionid larva. As reported by W. Arens (1999)* for the species T. interruptus (Br.), the nest is a vertical tunnel dug by the female in the solid soil, temporarily closed with soil clods during the provisioning of the nest.
* Arens W., 1999 - Zum Verhalten von Tropidodynerus interruptus (BRÜLLE 1832) (Vespoidea, Eumenidae) und seines Brutparasiten Chrysis jaxartis SEM. am Nest. Linzer biol. Beitr., 31/1: 147-158.
In the sequence you can see the Eumenine female first removing the soil clods that hide the nest's entrance, then taking the paralyzed Curculionid larva with the mandibles and introducing it into the nest; then, closing the opening again before flying away. Some females of Chrysis perezi Mocsáry, 1889 were observed around the nests of the Eumenine wasp, thus considered its probable cleptoparasite.
And many other interesting wasps of the genus Ronisia, Stenomutilla, Megascolia, Cryptocheilus, etc.
For citation purposes
Agnoli G.L. & Rosa P., Chrysis.net website, interim version 15-Nov-2010 , URL: http://www.chrysis.net/.