orchid_b's picture

Mason Wasp

Observed: 8th September 2012 By: orchid_borchid_b’s reputation in Invertebratesorchid_b’s reputation in Invertebratesorchid_b’s reputation in Invertebratesorchid_b’s reputation in Invertebrates
Ancistrocerus.nigricornis
DSCN1036
Description:
Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

orchid_b's picture

Yes, I've keyed out one of

Yes, I've keyed out one of several that were around today and it was def A.nigricornis,though you couldn't i\d it from this photo alone.

Jamie from Briantspuddle

Nick Upton's picture

Sorry..

I didn't realise you'd keyed it out the traditional, more certain way! I only work from photos, and have learnt I can only get ID's so far with them for some genera including this one.

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.

orchid_b's picture

I've added a side pic which

I've added a side pic which shows the diagnostic notch in the 2nd ventral plate. Nick, I wonder if your expert friends would be happy with that? In fairness I haven't keyed this individual out, just another on the same plant, so I am encouraged that it does show the key feature.

Jamie from Briantspuddle

Nick Upton's picture

Photo IDs

With a clear pic of a key feature, they might well agree. I rarely know what the key features are with wasps, so it's pot luck if I get the right angle or not, though I get to know what to look for in time...! Here's the last posting I made for member of this genus, and it was narrowed one to one of 2: http://www.forum.hymis.de/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=8301

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.

orchid_b's picture

Thanks. Will try a key on

Thanks. Will try a key on your pic see if I come up with the same.

Jamie from Briantspuddle

Nick Upton's picture

Thanks!

Good luck with that; narrow it down if you can! I'd have got more angles on this If I could have, but it didn't hang around. And if you like a challenge and have your eye in on this genus - here's a ? A. nigricornis/gazella from my garden in Wiltshire, I posted another time http://www.forum.hymis.de/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4583, and no-one even commented, which is unusual. More angles on this one.

Here's another I posted on another site, where the feedback was clear: microscope and specimen needed and even then it's tricky... http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/forums/insects-and-invertebrates/68619...

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.

orchid_b's picture

No, they are right - you need

No, they are right - you need to look underneath at the ventral plates. Some spp you need to move around under a microscope to get the features, but nigricornis is probably the easiest with a stepped notch that the others don't have. Seeing where they nest helps. Also having a real aculeate expert living nearby to check!

Jamie from Briantspuddle

Nick Upton's picture

Sticking to genus..

Ancistrocerus sp. will have to do me then... I have no tame aculeate expert to turn to! A good point re nest site info, though... I am often really sure I have a species ID correct based on habitat records or a behavioural quirk/ specific diet whatever, but iSpot experts often won't accept the ID if I can't prove it on morphological characters. As more of an ecologist/behaviourist than a taxonomist, the field info seems just as valid to me - though it does of course rely on taxonomists having confirmed the IDs of specimens collected from different habitats or doing very specific things first! Keys in the future might usefully include some key habitat/ behaviour data though...to help secure IDs if that info is known. Some really hard to separate leaf beetles have VERY specific diets for eg so if a lookalike was found eating a it must be x, if it was eating b, it must be y..

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.

orchid_b's picture

Keys

The RES key Scolioidea etc (Richards, 1980) does have useful ecology - mainly nesting - notes for some species.

Jamie from Briantspuddle

Nick Upton's picture

keys

Good to hear some do include this.

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.