Home Aculeata of Czech Republic Aculeata in galls caused by Lipara spp. (Diptera: Chloropidae) on common reed (Phragmites australis)
Aculeata in galls caused by Lipara spp. (Diptera: Chloropidae) on common reed (Phragmites australis) PDF Print

Four species of the genus Lipara Meigen, 1830 produce special cigar-like galls on growth terminals of common reed for their larvae. After the hatch of the adults, the galls with strong wall of sclerenchymatic tissues are often used as places for hiding, overwintering, reproducing, and nesting by many species and groups of invertebrates (see Bogusch et al., in press). Recently, there is community of 29 different Aculeata species using the empty galls for their nesting. Most of these species are only sporadic nesters, using many types of cavities, and also reed galls for their nesting. Among these species, common bee Hoplitis leucomelana is dominant, and also digger wasp Trypoxylon minus has been recorded many times. However, several interesting species are present too. Two nest cleptoparasites of the genus Stelis, four parasitoids of the family Chrysididae and one parasitoid of the dipteran family Anthracidae are good examples. Other species are reed stalk dwellers but some females choose to make their nests in Lipara galls. Among these species, some interesting wetland hymenopterans have been recorded, including quite common species (Trypoxylon deceptorium, Hylaeus moricei) and rare species (Stenodynerus clypeopictus, Rhopalum gracile). Most interesting are two species specialized for nesting in reed galls. First one is the digger wasp Pemphredon fabricii, which is eudominant among all species, contained in more than 90% of collected nests in all our surveys. This species was resurrected from the synonymy several years ago according its special adaptation for moving in reed – cut claws on tarsi. It is also very interesting for its mature larvae and praepupae, which can be coloured whitish, yellow, orange, reddish or purple. Second specialist is the bee Hylaeus pectoralis, several years ago supposed to be very rare with three known localities in the Czech Republic. Recently, we have confirmed this species to be not as rare, occurring in many localities across the country, and also in other parts of Europe. It forms quite weak populations and is problematic to find without collecting galls. Recently, little bee Heriades rubicola is spreading from the south. In south Europe, it nests in reed galls very often, and it has been recorded in nests in reed galls in Hodonín and Sedlec (Slanisko u Nesytu) in the Czech Republic.

Nest of Pemphredon fabricii with five yellow and one orange larvae.

We have studied the Aculeata in reed galls at the most important pond or reed reservations and also in reed beds of post-industrial sites across the Czech Republic. Post-industrial sites host more species (e.g. digger wasp Passaloecus clypealis has been recorded only at post-industrial sites) and more individuals in reed galls in general (studied by colour pan traps). However, some rare species have been recorded repeatedly in pond reservations only or much more often, e.g. spider wasp Anoplius caviventris. Thus, both kinds of the localities are important for the Aculeata.

Recently, our survey is focused on saline sites both inland and marine, specialization and site searching of most common gall nesters, and also on entomopathogenic fungi of larvae in reed galls and colours of larvae of P. fabricii and their origin.


Larva of Thyridanthrax fenestratus (Diptera: Anthracidae) on pupa of Pemphredon fabricii.

Published studies:

Heneberg P., Bogusch P., Astapenková A.: Reed galls serve as an underestimated but critically important resource for an assemblage of aculeate hymenopterans. Biological Conservation, 172 (2014), 146–154.

Bogusch P., Astapenková A., Heneberg P.: Larvae and Nests of Six Aculeate Hymenoptera (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) Nesting in Reed Galls Induced by Lipara spp. (Diptera: Chloropidae) with a Review of Species Recorded. PLoS ONE 10(6) (2015), e0130802.


Last Updated on Sunday, 04 October 2015 11:57