Ecology

Associations

Known predators

Philanthus (Philanthus, Abax, Feronia) is prey of:
Soricidae
Talpinae

Based on studies in:
England: Oxfordshire, Wytham Wood (Forest)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • G. C. Varley, The concept of energy flow applied to a woodland community. In: Animal Populations in Relation to Their Food Resources, A. Watson, Ed. (Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, England, 1970), pp. 389-401, from p. 389.
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Known prey organisms

Philanthus (Philanthus, Abax, Feronia) preys on:
Operophtera brumata
leaf feeders
Oligochaeta
Cyzenis
Insecta
Acari

Based on studies in:
England: Oxfordshire, Wytham Wood (Forest)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • G. C. Varley, The concept of energy flow applied to a woodland community. In: Animal Populations in Relation to Their Food Resources, A. Watson, Ed. (Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, England, 1970), pp. 389-401, from p. 389.
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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Larvae protected from pathogens: beewolf digger wasps
 

The larvae of beewolf digger wasps are protected from pathogenic microbes thanks to bacterial symbionts.

     
  "Beewolf digger wasps cultivate specific symbiotic bacteria (Streptomyces  spp.) that are incorporated into the larval cocoon for protection  against pathogens. We identified the molecular basis of this protective  symbiosis in the natural context and demonstrate that the bacteria  produce a 'cocktail' of nine antibiotic substances. The complementary  action of all symbiont-produced antibiotics confers a potent  antimicrobial defense for the wasp larvae that parallels the  'combination prophylaxis' known from human medicine." (Kroiss et al. 2010:261)

  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Kroiss J; Kaltenpoth M; Schneider B; Schwinger M; Hertweck C; Maddula RK; Strohm E; Svatoš A. 2010. Symbiotic streptomycetes provide antibiotic combination prophylaxis for wasp offspring. Nature Chemical Biology. 6: 261 - 263.
  • 2010. Beewolves protect their offspring with antibiotics; digger wasp larvae use bacteria against infections. Science Daily [Internet],
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:117Public Records:7
Specimens with Sequences:96Public Species:2
Specimens with Barcodes:79Public BINs:1
Species:25         
Species With Barcodes:17         
          
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Barcode data

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Philanthus

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Wikipedia

Beewolf

Beewolves (genus Philanthus), also known as bee-hunters, are solitary, predatory wasps, most of which prey on bees, hence their common name. The adult females dig tunnels in the ground for nesting, while the territorial males mark twigs and other objects with pheromones to claim the territory from competing males.

As with all other sphecoid wasps the larvae are carnivorous, forcing the inseminated females to hunt for other invertebrates (in this case bees), on which she lays her eggs, supplying the larvae with prey when they emerge. The adults collect nectar from flowers or from squeezing the bees they capture for prey;[citation needed] the nectar is their energy source for flight.

The prevalent European species, P. triangulum, specializes in preying upon honey bees, thus making it a minor pest for beekeepers.Other Philanthus species may specialize in other bee species or they may be generalists which prey upon a wide variety of bees or other types of Hymenoptera.[1][2]

They are notable in stinging their prey in a membranous location on the ventral surface where the venom quickly paralyzes major voluntary muscles, yet does not kill the prey. The prey may attempt to sting in return, but it is always grabbed in such a way that only well-armored portions of the beewolf's body are presented. The beewolf carries the prey back to a tunnel, but usually only stores it temporarily, until it is later used to provision a cell burrow, where an egg is laid.

The tunnel of Philanthus triangulum can be as much as 1 m long. The first part of the tunnel slopes downward at an angle of 30° after which it levels out. Up to 34 lateral tunnels each ending in a brood chamber branch off from the main tunnel. Each brood chamber is stocked with one to six honeybees.[2]

Species[edit]

The genus Philanthus contains about 170 species, some of which are listed here:[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yeo, P.F. & Corbet, S.A. Solitary wasps. Naturalists Handbooks 3. The Richmond Publishing Co. Ltd, 1995, 2nd ed.
  2. ^ a b Piper, Ross (2007). Extraordinary Animals: An Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals. Greenwood Publishing Group. 
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