Project

Find and describe ‘new’ or unreported Hymenoptera species in the Low Countries

Goal: Increase our knowledge on parasitoid Hymenoptera (esp. Braconidae and Ichneumonidae) in the Low Countries. A long term goal is updating existing checklists.

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Fons Verheyde
added a research item
The mechanisms and ecological circumstances of adult diapause in Ichneumonidae are poorly studied. An overview is presented of what observations and research have been carried out on ichneumonid diapause to date, and new ecological and distributional data are presented. The new data primarily concerns species that hibernate in association with trees, based on observations made in Belgium and the Netherlands. A preliminary checklist of the 50 species that are now known to hibernate is provided for both these countries. Auberteterus alternecoloratus (Cushman, 1929), Dicaelotus montanus (de Stefani, 1885), Dicaelotus pictus (Schmiedeknecht, 1903) and Orthocentrus sannio Holmgren, 1858 are reported as adult hibernators for the first time. Four species are newly recorded for the Belgian or Dutch faunas.
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
In this article we provide a short overview of parasitoid wasps with caddisflies (Trichoptera) as a host in the Belgium and The Netherlands. One ichneumonid wasp (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae), Agriotypus armatus Curtis, 1832, which is confirmed for the Netherlands, has rearing records on aquatic species such as Silo pallipes (Fabricius, 1781) and Silo piceus (Brauer, 1857) in both Belgium and the Netherlands. In the Netherlands additional rearing records are known from Silo nigricornis (Pictet, 1834) and Goera pilosa (Fabricius, 1775). Another ichneumonid wasp related to aquatic larvae, Theroscopus megacentrus (Schiodte, 1839), is known from the Netherlands and associated with Limnephilus spp. Two other ichneumonid wasps and one braconid wasp (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) are connected with the terrestrial larvae of Enoicyla pusilla (Burmeister, 1839): Diadegma trichopterorum Horstmann, 2004, Theroscopus trifasciatus Förster, 1850 and Apanteles gielisi Van Achterberg, 2002. Of these three, only Theroscopus trifasciatus has already been reported In Belgium [Reference: De Digitale Kokerjuffer 17 (24): 6-12.]
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
In the autumn of 2021 an exceptional observation was made in the Netherlands. There, in the coastal dunes near the port of Rotterdam (51°59'16.3"N, 4°06'44.8"E) a male of the eumenid wasp Delta conoideum was observed. This is the first observation outside its endemic area (Southeast Asia) and in Europe. Import seems certain. In the remaining part of the paper we discuss migration of Hymenoptera in general and give our estimation on a possible settlement in the future. Although there are examples of other invasive species in the genus and we cannot exclude it entirely, this seems rather unlikely. The insect was also parasitized by an unidentified species of Strepsiptera. This finding constitutes only the second report worldwide. [Hymenovaria 25: 27-30]
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
A box with Ichneumonidae collected by the Belgian entomologist Adolphe Crèvecoeur was thoroughly analysed. One hundred and nine specimens from a total of 127 (85%) are identified to species level. Sixty three species are reported, with 12 being new for the Belgian fauna. Rearing records of Bathyplectes cingulatus (Brischke, 1880), Lathrolestes macropygus (Holmgren, 1857), Scambus buolianae (Hartig, 1838) and Scambus pomorum (Ratzeburg, 1848) are new for science.
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
Scolia hirta and Megascolia maculata are reported for the first time in the Netherlands. These are the first records of the family Scoliidae in the Netherlands. Scoliid wasps are thermophilic and are expected to be reported more often in the future. However, there is an important difference in the origin of both species. While natural migration of S. hirta is probable, the specimen of M. maculata was clearly imported. [Nederlandse Faunistische Mededelingen 57: 1-6, 2021]
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
The advent of citizen science, the free availability of information and literature, and even social media, have greatly advanced our knowledge on insect fauna in the Low Countries. However, this information is often dispersed and does not always end up being reported in entomological literature. With this paper we want to close this gap for Ichneumonidae, by listing 205 species and nineteen genera first reported in Belgium and the Netherlands. Furthermore, several remarks with more profound morphological and/or ecological relevance are added. For more obscure species like Diadegma cinnabaritor Aubert, 1970, Diphyus restitutor (Wesmael 1859), Ichneumon freyi Kriechbaumer, 1880, Javra opaca (Thomson, 1883), Lissonota pleuralis Brischke, 1880, Meloboris collector (Thunberg, 1824), Micromonodon tener (Kriechbaumer, 1893), Perilissus holmgreni Habermehl, 1925, Piogaster pillosator (Aubert, 1958), Spilothyrateles illuminatorius (Gravenhorst, 1820) and Vulgichneumon trifarius (Berthoumieu, 1892) we provide a more elaborate description and figures. New parasitic relations are mentioned for Acrodactyla degener (Haliday, 1839), Heterischnus debilis (Gravenhorst, 1829) and Nippocryptus vittatorius (Jurine, 1807). An appendix provides the reader with an overview of Ichneumonidae first reported since 2005 (in total 290 species), paving the way for future checklists. [SUBMISSION DATE: 2 May 2021]
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
Nine species of parasitic Hymenoptera (Braconidae, Ichneumonidae) are recorded for the first time in Belgium: Atanycolus denigrator (Linnaeus 1758), Cosmophorus regius Niezabitowski 1910, Aleiodes dissector (Nees, 1834), Rhimphoctona pectoralis (Kriechbaumer, 1890), Rhimphoctona rufocoxalis (Clément, 1924), Rhimphoctona xoridiformis (Holmgren, 1860), Xorides alpestris (Habermehl, 1903), Xorides brachylabis (Kriechbaumer, 1889) et Xorides rufipes (Gravenhorst, 1829). Detailed informations are given for each species. A distribution map is presented for Xorides Latreille species.
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
In the past two decades insects generally have been thought of as under dramatic pressure. However, this should be nuanced. Some species, often bound to forest areas, have succeeded in colonizing new areas, without showing any profitable behaviour due to climate change. In this article the authors identified and analyzed the ecology of siricid wasps (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) bound to hardwood and coniferous wood. It is told how in only a decade or two most of their corresponding parasitic wasps have been able to expand as well and reproduce to maintain stable populations. Demonstrating the specific circumstances and needs of all these species living in both ecosystems, it is shown how some of these parasitic wasps from the genera Megarhyssa (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) and Ibalia (Hymenoptera: Ibaliidae) are valid candidates to function as local indicators of high biodiversity. [Natuur.Focus 19 (4): 172-179]
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
Based on existing literature, data from citizen science portals and new findings in the field, the genus Phylloecus Newman, 1838 (= Hartigia Schiødte, 1839) is reviewed. Apart from details of the local distribution in Belgium, other aspects are investigated more extensively. The reproduction mechanisms of P. faunus are discussed: it seems to be parthenogenetic in the northern parts of Europe (1). We confirm the morphological diversification of the P. niger species complex living on Rosa spp. (2). Having found and reared Phylloecus linearis and P. xanthostoma, new illustrative material is provided of both larvae and their ecology (3). A morphological table compares the similarities and differences between the four species currently known in Western Europe (4). Phegea 48 (4) - 2020: 103-112
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
Prionyx kirbii is reported for the first time in the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively in 2019 and 2020. In the Netherlands it was found in a nature reserve which can be termed typical for many migrating species due to its history as a mining site. In Belgium it was found on historical city walls. Characteristics are high temperatures, enough open space for nesting facilities and the presence of flowering plants to feed on. Unsurprisingly, the sphecid wasp Sphex funerarius was also observed at the same locality in the Netherlands, demonstrating how Sphecidae in general have been expanding at a fast (and still increasing?) rate due to climatic change and the migration of their preys and hosts. With this article, we want to highlight the importance of knowledge about these migration routes in order to communicate these properly to different stakeholders. An overview of the Sphecidae reported in the Netherlands and Belgium and a key for the species of Prionyx in Western Europe are provided.
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
From June to August 2019 several light traps were placed in or close to the nature reserve ‘Gulke Putten’ (Wingene/Ruiselede). Three specimens, collected during one night at the end of June, appeared to be unreported in Belgium: Enicospilus cerebrator Aubert, 1966, Enicospilus myricae Broad & Shaw, 2016 and Netelia millieratae (Kriechbaumer, 1897). Other catches in the summer also yielded interesting observations of several uncommon species.
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
GBIF occurrence dataset: https://www.gbif.org/dataset/71cfd412-6327-4ec7-8035-d8b2d0509ac5 Waarnemingen.be - Hymenoptera occurrences in Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region, Belgium is a species occurrence dataset published by Natuurpunt. The dataset contains over 260,000 bee, wasp and ant (Hymenoptera) occurrences of 1,188 naturally occurring species (native, vagrant or migrant species), recorded by volunteers (citizen scientists), mainly since 2008. The occurrences are derived from the database http://www.waarnemingen.be, hosted at the nature conservation NGO Natuurpunt in collaboration with Stichting Natuurinformatie. Standardized information regarding the occurrence's sex, lifeStage, reproductiveCondition, behavior, occurrenceRemarks, and samplingProtocol is included as well. Generalized and/or withheld information: location information is generalized to 5 x 5 km² Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid cells. Observer name, exact XY-coordinates, toponyms, and photographs are not included in the published dataset, but are known in the source database. To allow anyone to use this dataset, we have released the data to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/). We would appreciate however, if you read and follow these norms for data use (http://www.natuurpunt.be/normen-voor-datagebruik) and provide a link to the original dataset (https://doi.org/10.15468/r0fx1v) whenever possible. If you use these data for a scientific paper, please cite the dataset following the applicable citation norms and/or consider us for co-authorship. We are always interested to provide more information or know how you have used the data, so please contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata or natuurdata@natuurpunt.be. The publication of this dataset is supported by INBO and funded by Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) as part of the Belgian contribution to LifeWatch.
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
Grotten, kelders, fortengordels, oude zolders, voor vleermuizen geliefd terrein. Meer en meer wordt duidelijk dat sommige insecten hier ook zo over denken. Een vleermuizenteller met open geest zal misschien wel al eens een Roesje hebben waargenomen. Maar wist je dat ook bepaalde wespachtigen overwinteren? Net als bij enkele dagvlinders gaat het hier over vrouwtjes. Uit: Chiropcontact (Vol. 26, nr. 1).
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
Three distinctive braconids are reported for the first time in Belgium. Two of them, both belonging to Euphorinae, were caught with light traps. All three species could be expected to be present as they are known from most of our neighboring countries. Keywords: Bassus calculator, Chrysopophthorus hungaricus, Pygostolus otiorhynchi, light traps, migration
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
The ichneumonid wasp Ctenochares bicolorus was reported for the first time in the Netherlands in 2015 and in Belgium in 2019. These records are the first for continental northwestern Europe. The specimens are imported, probably with vegetables. The species, a parasite of Lepidoptera, originates from Africa, but has been introduced in southern Europe and has settled there. It seems possible that Ctenochares bicolorus will form populations in northwestern Europe in the future, especially in greenhouses.
Fons Verheyde
added a research item
In Western Europe the ash sawfly Tomostethus nigritus is known to occur at low densities on Fraxinus excelsior and is uncommonly reported as a pest species. However, we show here that outbreaks can occur on non-endemic trees such as F. angustifolia , and that the species is able to spread quickly using city infrastructure. At the visited localities near the city of Ghent, foliage of Fraxinus angustifolia ‘Raywood’ emerged approximately one month earlier than on F. excelsior . At the same time, changed climatic conditions in the last decade, i.e. higher temperatures in March, caused adults to emerge earlier. Synchronicity of the potential hosts and T. nigritus may therefore have altered, playing a crucial role in population dynamics. Future research should aim to confirm if the species dramatically declines in numbers after reaching its peak population level, an effect which was observed in previous studies, but for which there is still no satisfactory explanation.
Fons Verheyde
added 2 research items
The ichneumonid species Brachycyrtus ornatus and its subfamily Brachycyrtinae are reported for the first time in Belgium. A female was found in Mechelen, on the 5 th August of 2018. By highlighting the context of this finding and by comparing it with existing literature we offer information about the species' phenology, sex distribution and ecology. De sluipwesp Brachycyrtus ornatus en de subfamilie Brachycyrtinae worden voor het eerst gemeld in België. Nabij Mechelen werd een vrouwtje gevonden, op 5 augustus 2018. Door de context van de vondst te bespreken en deze met de bestaande literatuur te vergelijken, kunnen we meer over de fenologie, geslachtsverhoudingen en ecologie van de soort te weten komen. Résumé L'ichneumon Brachycyrtus ornatus et sa sous-famille Brachycyrtinae sont signalés pour la première fois de Belgique. Une femelle a été trouvée à Malines, le 5 août 2018. En mettant en évidence le contexte de cette découverte et en la comparant avec la littérature existante, nous donnons des informations sur la phénologie, le sex-ratio et l'écologie de l'espèce.
Blasticotoma filiceti is reported here for the first time in Belgium. It was observed in Willerzie (province Namur) and Hamont-Achel (province Limburg). B. filiceti is an exceptional sawfly feeding on ferns with a striking foam production at the larval stage. We discuss the species' distribution outside Belgium, morphology, habitat, life cycle and ecology. Finally, we try to grasp the meaning of this finding from a larger perspective about the ecology and distribution of this sawfly species.
Fons Verheyde
added a project goal
Increase our knowledge on parasitoid Hymenoptera (esp. Braconidae and Ichneumonidae) in the Low Countries. A long term goal is updating existing checklists.