Beewolf
( Philanthus multimaculatus )


2009-0621-01080125-HYM00948-Philanthus_multimaculatus[2034h26s,L,P,laterum]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Philanthus multimaculatus
(Cameron ,1891 )
Common Name:Beewolf
Life Stage:(P) pupa

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Hymenoptera
Suborder:Apocrita
Family:Crabronidae
Subfamily:Philanthinae
Tribe:Philanthini
Genus:Philanthrus
Taxon Code:HYM00948

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
BSA Camp Rancho Los Mochos, BSA Camp Rancho Los Mochos, 18450 Mines Rd., Livermore
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CA01080125

RECOGNITION
Similar Taxa
P. mulfirnaculatus is probably the commonest western species of the genus. It often occurs with P. crabroniformis which it resembles in a general way. However, P. multimaculatus is smaller and yellower. Also, the male has nonfimbriate sterna. Another feature which is nearly invariable is the pale red clypeal lip in P. multimaculatus as opposed to the black one in P. crabmniformis. California males nearly always have the abdomen mostly yellow and have a pair of prominent discal yellow stripes on the scutum. In material from farther north the stripes may be reduced. The yellow tergal bands in females are generally broken medially on tergum I and sometimes on following terga in a rather characteristic way.
Colors
Color1: yellow Color2: black

BIOLOGY
Host
This wasp seems to prey exclusively on small (~5 mm) halictids. The wasp will stalk a variety of prey in flight, on and among plants, including Lycaenids and flies. Many kinds of insects, including some many times larger than the wasp are investigated. Wasps will strike both prey and non-prey items. Upon contacting prey and falling to the ground the prey is stung into paralysis and carried in flight by the wasp to its burrow. Females take nectar at intervals during foraging.
Nesting Preferences
This wasp builds nest underground and provisions them with bees that are stung into paralysis. Nest depth may be as deep as 25-30 cm below the surface. The main shaft total length may reach 62 cm.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
Species Philanthus multimaculatus. (http://bugguide.net/node/view/23144). Accessed March 12, 2016. .
Alcock, John. The Nesting Behavior of Philanthus multimaculatus Cameron (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae). American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 93, No. 1 (Jan., 1975), pp. 222-226. The University of Notre Dame.
California Wasps of the Subfamily Philanthinae (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey, Volume 19. R. M. Bohart and E. E. Grissell. University of California Press.


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