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Species Notebook:

  • Wasp Beetle

    Wasp Beetle: false alarm

    Post date: Thursday, 11 September, 2014 - 00:00

    The flowers of the carrot family are super places to look for insects, especially beetles and flies (including hoverflies). Walk along any hedgerow where hogweed dominates and you will find an assortment of little creatures, some quite striking.

    The wasp beetle (Clytus arietis) is a devotee of a wide range of hedgerow plants but when it gets on a white background, as it is on hogweed, it really stands out with those wasp like yellow and black bands; which is how it gets its name of course. Standing out so would normally make them a prime target for predators but those wasp-like markings are enough to warn off any bird looking for a quick snack fearing a sting in the tail. In reality it is a false alarm, this beetle is a wasp mimic and is totally harmless without a sting.

    Active as adults from May through to July, they are certainly worth taking the trouble to look for.


     

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