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Mammoth Wasp, Corsica

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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 20:28   #1
thomasclark1985
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Mammoth Wasp, Corsica

Hi,

Can someone help me ID this wasp please? it was seen in Corsica, the closest I can get to an ID using my "a photographic guide to insects of southern Europe & the Mediterranean" is Scolia hortorum, although it's range doesn't cover Corsica, can somebody help to confirm or correct.

Many thanks,

Tom
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 20:38   #2
RafaelMatias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasclark1985 View Post
Hi,

Can someone help me ID this wasp please? it was seen in Corsica, the closest I can get to an ID using my "a photographic guide to insects of southern Europe & the Mediterranean" is Scolia hortorum, although it's range doesn't cover Corsica, can somebody help to confirm or correct.

Many thanks,

Tom
The answer to your question is in the attached paper :) Unfortunately I don't have the time needed to check it myself right now. I think there's 2-3 potential species showing that pattern, but probably only one in that specific area.

Last edited by RafaelMatias : Sunday 11th November 2018 at 20:40.
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 20:45   #3
thomasclark1985
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Another few from Corsica

I think the first is a Sand Wasp. sp. I might be pushing my luck for an ID with this, it looks very similar to Ammophila pubescens & Ammophila sabulosa, although I think it'll end up in the "unable to ID" folder unless anyone can help?

The second, I have no idea and can't find anything like it in my guide - Could it be a Lacewing sp.?

Tom
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 20:57   #4
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Thank you Rafael, it looks most like Scolia aenigmatica (117), unfortunately I can't find any info on it online saying its range!

Tom

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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 21:57   #5
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Scolia aenigmatica seems to occur only from Turkey eastwards to at least Pakistan. So, not the most likely contender.
The "Fauna Europaea" online is a useful tool to check for distributions (despite many omissions and a few mistakes). For example: https://fauna-eu.org/cdm_dataportal/...a-19e23123940e (check each species of the tree at the bottom of the page). The best source of info for which Scoliidae species you can expect to find in Corsica might be Berland (1925): Berland, L. 1925. Faune de France vol. 10. Hyménoptères vespiformes. 1 (Sphegidae, Pompilidae, Scoliidae, Mutillidae). Paris.
I think there's a PDF version of this available online somewhere (you can try and make a search). It should help you out with the digger wasp as well. Remember Hymenoptera (especially Aculeata) classification is in flux and many old names are no longer valid, so it's one more thing to check before coming up with a final ID. And it might not be possible from one photo (in some groups it's not). Still, a most fascinating group of insects.
The last photo shows a lacewing as you suggested.
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 22:04   #6
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Here you go:
Berland (1925): PDF
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 22:06   #7
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Hi Thomas,

This could be Scolia flavifrons. I'll try and dig some images out to compare.

Stu
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 22:37   #8
RafaelMatias
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Hi Thomas,

This could be Scolia flavifrons. I'll try and dig some images out to compare.

Stu
No, not Scolia flavifrons. As the name says, Scolia flavifrons (actually an old name for Megascolia maculata flavifrons, which is the current name) has a yellow head*; it also has yellow spots over tergites 2 and 3 of the abdomen, and the present species has yellow spots only on T3.

*only the females

Last edited by RafaelMatias : Monday 12th November 2018 at 03:22. Reason: adding info on females
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 22:39   #9
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unfortunately I can't find any info on it online saying its range!

Tom
Tom, the key I uploaded above has the ranges of each species included in the key itself, but in German.
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 22:41   #10
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Thanks again Rafael, it might take me a while to figure this out then!

Hi Stu, thanks, is Scolia flavifrons the same species Megascolia maculata flavifrons, from what I can see online, I believe they are. My guide says they have 2 pairs yellow abdominal blotches though, so I'm not sure.

Cheers
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 23:01   #11
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I’ve managed to find a sentence containing “Discolia Schrenkii” and “Korsika”. It also looks similar, so that’s what I’m going for, for now!

But I stand to be corrected!

Thanks Rafael
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 23:17   #12
RafaelMatias
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I’ve managed to find a sentence containing “Discolia Schrenkii” and “Korsika”. It also looks similar, so that’s what I’m going for, for now!

But I stand to be corrected!

Thanks Rafael
Hmmm :) I think Scolia (Discolia) schrenkii is a Central Asian species (1)... Sorry for not being able to help any further but I just can't afford the time to do it properly atm.

(1): ref.
Quote:
Distribution:Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan (Betrem, 1935; Osten, 2005a); newly recorded to Iraq.

Last edited by RafaelMatias : Sunday 11th November 2018 at 23:19. Reason: adding ref.
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Old Monday 12th November 2018, 17:14   #13
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No worries, thanks for the help Rafael, I can't afford the time to ID it at the moment too, especially if it means scanning a huge document written in German! But I will get there.....one day.

Cheers
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Old Monday 12th November 2018, 22:03   #14
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Hi Tom/Rafael,

Yes, I think so. In old money it was Scolia, but I guess now it is more widely known as Megascolia, which given the huge size, seems appropriate.

Rafael, yes, you're quite right. Not flavifrons. Here's a presumed maculata from Sicily in 2012.

Stu
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Old Wednesday 14th November 2018, 19:12   #15
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Hi Tom,
I managed some time to look into this. Your wasps are Discolia hirta unifasciata, a subspecies restricted to Corsica, Sicily and Malta, characterized by a single yellow band over tergite 3, as in your photos.
This taxon was formerly known as Scolia unifasciata, and other synomyms are Scolia hirta unifasciata and Scolia (Discolia) hirta unifasciata. Berland (1925) mentions it on page 300, and Osten (2000) on page 547(no photo is included). Mystery solved. :)
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Old Thursday 15th November 2018, 21:18   #16
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Thank you for that Rafael, very helpful!
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