The Life Histories and Nesting Behaviour of the Pompilidae (Hymenoptera) in New Zealand: A Comparative Study

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Abstract

Life histories and nesting behaviour are presented and illustrated for the eleven species of Pompilidae recognised from New Zealand. Behaviours distinctive for each species are listed, and are related to morphological specialisations of the adult female. Cryptocheilus australis (Guerin) makes multicelled, compound nests in heavy, clay soils. One daughter may occupy her mother's nest and construct further cells extending from the main burrow the following season, while her adult male siblings may continue to occupy the nest. Host spiders are dragged to the nest dorsum up, grasped by the chelicerae. Spiders are positioned upside down, with the chelicerae facing the inner end of the cell. All other New Zealand Pepsinae drag the prey upside down by a leg base to the vicinity of the nest entrance, then drag it into the nest by the spinnerets. The spinnerets point towards the inner end of the cell, while the chelicerae face the cell entrance. Priocnemis (Trichocurgus) monachus (Smith) and P. (T.) conformis Smith prey mostly on mygalomorph spiders, the first stinging the prey to permanent paralysis and usually making deep, multicelled nests in clay soils, although there is considerable variation in its nests. Priocnemis (T.) conformis generally makes single-celled nests and positions the spider in the cell dorsum up. The egg is laid on the dorsum of the spider's opisthosoma. The spider recovers from paralysis and spins a thick web of mat on the cell floor. Priocnemis (T.) nitidiventris Smith usually makes single-celled nests in sand. It runs forwards with its prey spiders, much in the manner of the widely distributed extralimital species Pompilus cinereus (Fabricius). Priocnemis (T.) ordishi Harris is very closely related to P. (T.) nitidiventris but nests in clay, making multicelled nests. It also runs forwards with spiders. Both P. (T.) carbonarius Smith and P. (T.) crawi Harris make single- or multicelled nests in clay. Both species drag spiders backwards. Sphictostethus nitidus Fabricius makes single- or multicelled nests in the soil while S. calvus Harris nests in rotting logs and rotting tree trunks, closing its nests with wood fragments, fibres, and spider web. Sphictostethus fugax Fabricius nests in abandoned beetle holes in wood in trees, closing the nest with moulded mud. In both morphology and behaviour S. fugax has converged towards tribe Ageniellini, but differs in never amputating legs of prey and not running forwards with prey held by spinnerets. Instead, like other species of the tribe Pepsini, it drags spiders backwards by the base of a third leg coxa, grasping prey by the spinnerets only during final placement in the cell. Epipompilus insularis Kohl does not drag spiders to a nest, but oviposits on spiders in concealed places where it finds them, often within the spider's silken cocoon as she guards her eggs. The spider can run about normally after acquiring an E. insularis egg. All New Zealand Pompilidae lack nest cleptoparasites, resulting in some unusual features in nesting behaviour.

Journal

  • Species Diversity

    Species Diversity 4(1), 143-235, 1999-06-25

    Japanese Society of Systematic Zoology

References:  51

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    110002344042
  • NII NACSIS-CAT ID (NCID)
    AA11114903
  • Text Lang
    ENG
  • Article Type
    ART
  • ISSN
    13421670
  • NDL Article ID
    4821828
  • NDL Source Classification
    ZR4(科学技術--生物学--動物)
  • NDL Call No.
    Z53-W570
  • Data Source
    CJP  NDL  NII-ELS 
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