[Syrphidae] Re: FW: Advanced hunting behaviour or what?

Erik Sjödin erik.sjodin at knusnatur.se
Wed Aug 15 06:28:08 BST 2012

Mellinus arvensis is the most likely one and it is very common in
sandspots in my garden too, I really like watching the species when it
comes with prey. But you should not forget about Bembix rostrata
Klaus... ;-) . This is also a fly-hunter, but the species is quite
uncommon and spectaculary large.
N Erik Sjödin
Knus Natur
Gånsta 3
745 97 Enköping
On 14 aug 2012 16:23 "Klaus Lunau" <lunau at uni-duesseldorf.de> wrote:
> Dear Syrpidologists,
> normal nest provisioning behaviour of a sphecid wasp like Mellinus
> arvensis, I guess.
> See photo in:
> http://www.bwars.com/index.php?q=taxonomy/term/359/all&page=2
> Best wishes
> Klaus Lunau
> Prof. Dr. Klaus Lunau
> Institut für Sinnesökologie
> Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf
> Universitätsstr. 1
> 40225 Düsseldorf
> Germany
> tel ++49 211 81 13059
> fax++49 211 81 11971
> http://www.biologie.uni-duesseldorf.de/Institute/Sinnesoekologie
> Von:syrphidae-bounces at lists.nottingham.ac.uk
> [mailto:syrphidae-bounces at lists.nottingham.ac.uk] Im Auftrag
> vonFrancis Gilbert
> Gesendet: Dienstag, 14. August 2012 14:58
> An: Hoverfly discussion list
> Betreff: [Syrphidae] FW: Advanced hunting behaviour or what?
> Dr Francis Gilbert
> Associate Professor of Ecology, School of Biology
> University Park, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
> Tel: +44 (0) 115 951 3215Ring: +44 (0) 115 951 3215
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> website: www.nottingham.ac.uk/~plzfg
> <https://webmail.one.com/email/www.nottingham.ac.uk/~plzfg>
>                ecology.nottingham.ac.uk
> From:Wittsell, Rasmus - Xylem
> <mailto:[mailto:Rasmus.Wittsell at Xyleminc.com]>
> Sent: 14 August 2012 12:38
> To: <syrphidae at nottingham.ac.uk>
> Subject: Advanced hunting behaviour or what?
> Greetings!
> Today I observed an unusual thing as I was having lunch in my garden.
> Being a former ecology student (at the university in Lund, 1980s) I
> recognized that this could be of interest to the right persons.  In
> short, this is what I saw and I also propose an explanation, however
> far-fetched:
> A wasp (species undetermined) landed on the table in front of me. It
> looked strangely deformed, so I took a closer look. The wasp was
> actually piggy-backing a hoverfly (also species unknown). Obviously
> the wasp had caught the hoverfly, but it was just holding on to it in
> a way that reminded me of a matingembrace. It immediately occurred to
> me that the fly may have been fooled into allowing the wasp to mount
> it. If this was so, it would furtherimply that the hoverfly was a
> victimof its own mimicry strategy because the wasp had developed a
> hunting strategy that capitalizes on it.
> I don’t have any more information, as the insects promptly flew away.
> The fly was still alive and it seemed to be activelyparticipating in
> the flight(, though it was probably just trying to escape). Both
> insects were of equal size and the wasp was of a rather small species,
> though I didn’t have time to observe it for more than a few seconds. I
> live in Sjöbo insouthernmost Sweden.
> Best regards
> Rasmus Wittsell
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