Worcestershire Record No. 27 November 2009 p. 18

TIPHIA FEMORALIS IN WORCESTERSHIRE

Mike Bloxham

Whilst surveying an area of wasteland in Warley Woods, (northern Worcestershire SP010 862) on August 6th 2009 in warm sultry overcast conditions, I swept a small wildflower area and on examination of assorted debris in the net, noticed a slender blackish wasp which burrowed into the assorted leaves & vegetable remnants with great agility. This was a little unusual but I eventually cornered and tubed it. On examination it was discovered to be a female Tiphia femoralis. The insect is probably associated with scarabaeid beetle larvae in which it lays its eggs. Tiphia species are infrequently seen in the British Isles- we have only two representatives, the smaller Tiphia (T.minuta) having been found in Worcestershire on several occasions. This find is of additional interest because the insect is normally associated with the southern counties of England and Wales where it can be locally common. It may now have joined a considerable band of insects increasing their range northwards during recent years. The site where it was found adjoins a golf course. It may be significant that several owners of grassland sites in Birmingham have reported turf damage caused by Phyllopertha horticola (Garden Chafer) during 2009. It is not impossible that Typhia femoralis might be using larvae of this chafer as host and therefore be present in sufficient numbers to have come to the attention of local entomologists.

Typhia femoralis
  Mike Bloxham


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