14 May 2022

14 May 22 - A New Wasp At St Aldhelms

The other highlight at St Aldhelms on the F Cup Day was seeing a new Wasp: Podalonia hirsuta. It isn't hard to see new Wasp species given I've seen very few. The hard part is getting a name to them. In this case, I was lucky as my mate Steve Morrison knows his Wasps and also has a good idea on the status in the Isle of Purbeck.

Steve said "This distinctive Wasp is usually found on sandy soils and most frequent on heathland (at least in Dorset), but not in any great numbers. It's fairly local nationally. It's similar in appearance to Ammophila, but the petiole is shorter and the slope more abrupt where it continues into the abdomen. Ammophila is much more slender and the petiole is much longer. Podalonia is slender in itself, but stocky compared to Ammophila. Podalonia stocks its nest burrow with a single large moth larvae (usually a noctuid). Steve is only aware of a couple of previous records for St Aldhelms".
Podalonia hirsuta: It was digging a burrow out on the path