Hedychrum virens and Cerceris tuberculata

Last updated on June 7th, 2020

Notes on the biology of Hedychrum virens and Cerceris tuberculata

Text and photos by Paolo Rosa.

In the summer 2006 I was in Ukraine to meet my colleague Alina Drozdovskaya of Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University, and to conduct some hymenopterological researches.

In the month of July we were in Crimea, in and around the famous wildlife park of Karadagh on the Black Sea coast. During an excursion we had the opportunity to meet a colony of Cerceris tuberculata de Villers, 1789, nesting in the ground behind some bushes. With great surprise we observed some Hedychrum virens Dahlbom, 1845 moving on the soil. We have spent few days to observe the behavior of Hedychrum and their hosts, taking some pictures of the predation and parasitism of Cerceris against Curculionidae beetles and of the activity of Chrysidids.

click images to enlarge:

Cerceris specimens were seeking for their victims on the ground, Larinus onopordi (F., 1787) curculionids. Once found, the Cerceris was taking the beetle with the large jaws and was injecting the paralyzing poison in its body. Then the prey was dragged on the ground, sometimes with low level flights, up to the nest, where the beetle was introduced with a big effort. In the meantime, Hedychrum virens, the largest European elampine chrysidid, had visited all the nests meticolously, although we didn’t see a single case of ovideposition.

In truth there’s no doubt about the parasitism of that chrysidid because in several days of field observations we have never noticed any other chrysidids in the colony’s site. Moreover, the size of the host and of its prey leave no doubts. Only one more parasite was common at the site, a velvet ant presumably belonging to the genus Smicromyrme.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 5000, automatic esposure.


Copyright, Authorship, and Ownership statements

All text and images of this page are copyright ©️ Chrysis.net unless otherwise stated - please see individual cases for authorship and copyright details. The specimens pictured are from the authors' or other collaborators' personal collections and from the collections of various museums. Unless otherwise specified, the whole content of this web site is for personal, non-commercial, scientific, and educational purposes given proper accreditation to the page from which they were derived are provided, and under Chrysis.net Terms and Conditions.

For citation purposes

Agnoli G.L. & Rosa P. (2020) Hedychrum virens and Cerceris tuberculata, in: Chrysis.net website. Interim version 30 September 2020, URL: https://www.chrysis.net/chrysididae/hedychrum-virens/.