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

Malcolm Edmunds medmunds at phonecoop.coop
Wed Aug 15 09:33:49 BST 2012

Some years ago a friend gave me some damaged mud nests full of syrphid prey,
mostly yellow and black, but there seemed no point in identifying them all
as the wasp was not known. Francis Gilbert’s Naturalists Handbook refers to
work by Pickard in 1975 who compared the syrphid prey of the wasp Ectemnius
cavifrons with the syrphids in the surrounding habitat, so there are clearly
several species of wasp from different genera which specialise on capturing


Malcolm Edmunds

Kildare, Goosnargh Lane, Goosnargh, Preston PR3 2BP, UK

medmunds at phonecoop.coop 



From: syrphidae-bounces at lists.nottingham.ac.uk
[mailto:syrphidae-bounces at lists.nottingham.ac.uk] On Behalf Of Erik Sjödin
Sent: 15 August 2012 06:28
To: Hoverfly discussion list
Subject: [Syrphidae] Re: FW: Advanced hunting behaviour or what?


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"  <mailto:lunau at uni-duesseldorf.de>
<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



tel ++49 211 81 13059

fax++49 211 81 11971



Von: syrphidae-bounces at lists.nottingham.ac.uk
[mailto:syrphidae-bounces at lists.nottingham.ac.uk] Im Auftrag von Francis
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 3215 

website: www.nottingham.ac.uk/~plzfg




From: Wittsell, Rasmus - Xylem [mailto:Rasmus.Wittsell at Xyleminc.com]
<mailto:%5bmailto:Rasmus.Wittsell at Xyleminc.com%5d>  
Sent: 14 August 2012 12:38
To: syrphidae at nottingham.ac.uk
Subject: Advanced hunting behaviour or what?





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 mating embrace. 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
further imply that the hoverfly was a victim of 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 actively participating 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 in
southernmost Sweden.


Best regards



Rasmus Wittsell

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail, including any attachments and/or linked
documents, is intended for the sole use of the intended addressee and may
contain information that is privileged, confidential, proprietary, or
otherwise protected by law. Any unauthorized review, dissemination,
distribution, or copying is prohibited. If you have received this
communication in error, please contact the original sender immediately by
reply email and destroy all copies of the original message and any
attachments. Please note that any views or opinions presented in this e-mail
are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of
Xylem Inc. 


This message and any attachment are intended solely for the addressee and
may contain confidential information. If you have received this message in
error, please send it back to me, and immediately delete it. Please do not
use, copy or disclose the information contained in this message or in any
attachment. Any views or opinions expressed by the author of this email do
not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Nottingham. 

This message has been checked for viruses but the contents of an attachment
may still contain software viruses which could damage your computer system:
you are advised to perform your own checks. Email communications with the
University of Nottingham may be monitored as permitted by UK legislation. 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.nottingham.ac.uk/pipermail/syrphidae/attachments/20120815/721e4436/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Syrphidae mailing list