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ACULEATE REPORT SPIDERSHYMENOPTERA OF RAF MILDENHALL

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Aculeate Hymenoptera Recorder’s Report 1999 This report is being compiled less than one year after I accepted the role of Aculeate Hymenoptera recorder for Suffolk and I am still trying to track down earlier records of bees, ants and wasps from the county. In the absence of this data it is difficult if not impossible to assess the true status of most species in Suffolk. However, a number of interesting records have come to my attention during the year. The Saxon wasp, Dolichovespula saxonica, is a recent arrival in Britain and was first recorded in Suffolk from Elveden Forest in 1994. Through the summer of 1999 I had the good fortune to be able to observe the paper nest of this social wasp grow from golf ball to football size in my own Lowestoft garden. The wasps are relatively small and not aggressive although my daughters wisely decided to stay out of their wendy house in which the wasp colony was developing! This was only the second record of the wasp from Suffolk and the first from VC25 but many more records are expected in future as the invader becomes established. Throughout 1999 I was surveying the invertebrates of RAF Mildenhall and in the course of the survey a number of interesting hymenoptera were collected. The five-banded digger wasp, Cerceris quinquefasciata, is one of the relatively few invertebrates and the only wasp listed in the Suffolk Local Biodiversity Action Plan. It is a solitary wasp that excavates its nest chambers in compacted sand and stocks them with paralysed weevils before laying eggs. Specimens of this species were collected from an area of relict breck grass heath that also supported the weevils Strophosoma faber and Pseudapion rufirostre on which the wasp is known to prey (Falk, 1991). This same area was home to a good diversity of aculeate hymenoptera including the rare spider hunting wasp Arachnospila consobrina and the scarce species Arachnospila minutula and Evagetes dubius. Peter Harvey sent in species lists from his visits to Landguard and Newbourne Springs with the British Arachnological Society on 22 May 1999. These included records of three scarce bees, Sphecodes crassus and Nomada fucata, at Landguard and Andrena labiata from Newbourne Springs. Records of bees, ants and wasps from anywhere in Suffolk are urgently required to aid in developing our knowledge of this important group of insects in the county. Records will be especially welcome if they are supported by a voucher specimen. Reference Falk, S. J. (1991). A review of the scarce and threatened bees, wasps and ants of Great Britain. Research and Survey in Nature Conservation No. 35. NCC. Paul Lee, 155 Corton Road, Lowestoft, NR32 4PR

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 36 (2000)

Aculeate Hymenoptera Recorder’s Report 1999  

Paul Lee

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