Project

Strepsiptera of the Netherlands

Goal: To provide a checklist of the Strepsiptera of the Netherlands

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Project log

John T. Smit
added a research item
Diversiteit De 21 soorten zijn verdeeld over vier families, elk met hun geheel eigen groep aan gastheren: Elenchidae (spoorcicaden Delphacidae), Halictophagidae (heide-cicaden Ulopidae en cicaden Cicadellidae), Stylopidae (bijen Hymenoptera, Apoidea) en Xenidae (plooivleu-gelwespen Hymenoptera, Vespidae). De bouw van de verschillende families is sterk gelijkend. Herkenning Mannetjes en vrouwtjes zien er totaal verschillend uit. De vrouwtjes zijn nauwelijks als insecten herkenbare bolletjes in het lichaam van de gastheer. De mannetjes hebben grote waaiervormige achtervleugels, tot knot-sen gereduceerde voorvleugels en grote (hark-achtige) antennen. Ecologie Waaiervleugeligen vormen om diverse redenen één van de meest bizarre groepen insecten. Alle soorten zijn endoparasieten en brengen verreweg het grootste deel van hun leven in het lichaam van de gastheer door. De planidia (eerste larvenstadium) zijn vrijlevend, evenals de volwassen mannetjes, die echter slechts enkele uren leven. Vrouwtjes verlaten het lichaam van hun gastheer niet meer en blijven er uitzien als larven, met alleen het cephalothorax (kopborststuk) dat tussen de abdomensegmenten uitsteekt. De mannetjes hebben slechts een paar ontwikkelde vleugels, die groot en waaiervormig zijn, waaraan ze hun Nederlandse naam danken.
John T. Smit
added 4 research items
A huge population of stylops melittae (Strepsiptera: Stylopidae) An account is given on a huge nest aggregation of the bee Andrena vaga Panzer, 1799 infested with its twisted winged parasite: Stylops melittae Kirby, 1802. A very early record of A. vaga on February 13, 2011 at ‘the Stompert’ near the town of Soest revealed it was parasitized by Stylops melittae. A survey a few days later revealed more parasitized bees and even a few males of S. melittae, normally an extremely rare find. Revisiting the place in 2012 showed several hundred specimens of parasitized bees were present and several dozen live males of Stylops melittae could be observed. A day later, with far less favourable weather, we seized the opportunity to count six randomly chosen square meters within the nest aggregation. A total of 53 specimens of bees were found, all of which were parasitized, containing 56 females of S. melittae and 24 exit holes of emerged males, and nine live males. Extrapolating this for the entire area of the nest aggregation, some 900 square meters, leads to a total of more than 6000 bees and nearly 10.000(!) specimens of Stylops melittae. Would this estimation have been carried out the day before, the numbers would have been even more mindboggling. These observations show that, contrary to what was believed to be a rare species can actually occur in very large numbers within populations of host species that nest in aggregation instead of nesting solitarily.
Halictophagus silwoodensis new for the Netherlands (Strepsiptera: Halictophagidae) The first record of Halictophagus silwoodensis Waloff, 1981 for the Netherlands is presented. Seven of the 64 specimens of Ulopa reticulata (Fabricius, 1794), the host of H. silwoodensis taken at a small patch of Calluna at Elst (province of Utrecht) had empty male puparia between the tergites (fig. 5). At several other locations specimens of U. reticulata were examined, but yielded no further specimens of H. silwoodensis. The biology of both the host and it’s parasite are briefly discussed. Furthermore it is discussed that probably several other species of Strepsitera are likely to occur in the Netherlands but have yet to be found.
John T. Smit
added a project goal
To provide a checklist of the Strepsiptera of the Netherlands
 
John T. Smit
added a research item
The Strepsiptera fauna of the Netherlands is revised. Recent molecular work provided new insights in the taxonomy of the genus Stylops, raising the number of species in Europe from one to thirty. With this knowledge all available Strepsiptera material from the Netherlands is reexamined and additional DNA barcode sequences are generated and analyzed for 61 specimens belonging to eleven species. This revealed a third and yet unrecorded parasite for Andrena nigroaenea. The total number of Strepsiptera species recorded from the Netherlands is raised from six to 21. The known hosts and distribution of all species is provided.