Hymenoptera


I stood taking photos of these hornets for quite a while but I think I should have been able to take better shots than these. I’ll try again next time. I guess there were 7 or 8 of them flying around and there’s a possibility I was nervous… Nah, I was fine. That’s just an excuse for poor photography!!

Vespa tropica pulchraVespa tropica pulchraVespa tropica pulchra

Hymenoptera: Vespidae
Vespa ducalis
(synonym = Vespa tropica pulchra)

hornet = hime-suzume-bachi

Location: Yokoyama Village near Munakata Common (Google map link)

This was a great find! It’s a small spider wasp (about 10mm) carrying a fairly big spider. The wasp seems to have bitten off the spider’s legs — presumably to make carrying it easier. The wasp will dig a hole and place the paralyzed spider inside. It will lay one or more eggs and, after hatching, the wasp’s larvae will then feed on the spider.

It was difficult to get a photo because it wouldn’t keep still. Also, I didn’t want to disturb it too much because it would have dropped its prey and flown away.
It’s a pity that I can’t identify it at the moment. I’ll try again later.

PriocnemisPriocnemis

Hymenoptera: Pompilidae (Spider Wasps)
Priocnemis species?
Spider Wasp = bekkou

Location: Munakata Common (map)

The highlight of my day today was going for a walk through our local forest park (fureai-no-mori). I found several of these large (8mm) black and red carpenter ants feeding on the nectar of wild strawberry flowers.

Camponotus hemichlaenaCamponotus hemichlaenaCamponotus hemichlaenaCamponotus hemichlaena

More information at JAnt: here

Hymenoptera: Formicidae
Camponotus hemichlaena
Carpenter Ant = Nishi-muneaka-oo-ari

Location: Fureai-no-mori near Munakata Common (map).

I was so pleased with this find! It’s is a species of chalcid wasp that parasitizes the larvae of solitary bees. You can see the ovipositor held along its back. The other outstanding characteristic of this wasp is the large femurs on its hind legs.

UK Natural History Museum fact sheet on this group: here.

Leucospis japonicaLeucospis japonicaLeucospis japonicaLeucospis japonica

Hymenoptera: Leucospididae
Leucospis japonica
= shiriage-kobachi

Location: In orchards and bamboo/pine forest above Yokoyama Village (Google map)

This huge bumblebee (toramaru-hanabachi) was flying around taking nectar and pollen from dead nettles. I’m very happy with the shot of the bumblebee in flight.

Interesting site: UK Natural History Museum “Bombus Project” Bumblebees of the world

Bombus diversusBombus diversusBombus diversusBombus diversus

Hymenoptera: Apidae
Bombus diversus
Bumblebee = toramaru-hanabachi

Location: Near the lake above Yokoyama Village (Google map)

Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae (common sawflies)
Tenthredo sp. (possibly Tenthredo mortivaga)

Location: Edge of mikan orange orchard near Munakata Common (map).

These ants were completely engrossed in feeding (?) on a camelia petal. They were tiny – around 2 or 3mm. I’ve not tried to identify them yet.

Hymenoptera: Formicidae

Location: Edge of mikan orange orchard near Munakata Common (map).

These long-horned bees are very common – I’ve seen lots of them every time I’ve gone for a walk in the last week or so.

EuceraEuceraEuceraEucera

Hymenoptera: Apidae
Eucera nipponensis
(Syn. Tetralonia nipponensis)
Long-horned bee = nippon-higenaga-hanabachi

Location: Edge of field in Yokoyama Village (Google map)

Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae
Athalia japonica (?)
Athalia Sawfly = nihon-kabura-habachi

Location: Path between woods and fields near Munakata Common (map)

There are several species of hornet in Japan. This one is Vespa tropica pulchra (hime-suzume-bachi ) and it is said to be the least aggressive and least toxic of the hornets. It is easy to identify because, unlike other hornets, the last segment of the abdomen is black.

Japanese article here.
English article here.

Youtube video (in Japanese) about hunting hornets with a giant vacuum: here.

Vespa tropica pulchraVespa tropica pulchraVespa tropica pulchraVespa tropica pulchra

Hymenoptera: Vespidae
Vespa tropica pulchra
(synonym = Vespa ducalis)

hime-suzume-bachi

Location: path near Hyoutan Pond (map)

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