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Spatiotemporal distribution and resource use of scoliid wasps (Hymenoptera) in coastal sand dunes

Authors


Makiko Inoue, School of Human Sciences, Kobe College, Okadayama 4-1, Nishinomiya, 662-8505 Japan. Email: gh0491mi@kc.kobe-c.ac.jp

Abstract

The spatial and temporal distributions of scoliid wasps in the coastal sand dunes at Hakoishi, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, were investigated using three different sampling methods in 2002 and 2003. Of eight scoliid species collected in the present study, five species, Scolia historionica, Campsomeriella annulata, Scolia decorata, Scolia oculata, and Megacampsomeris schulthessi, were dominant. The flying insects caught by Malaise traps and flower-visiting insects caught by insect nets were mostly males, and this biased pattern was due to the active mate-searching behavior of male wasps and their frequent visits to flowers to supplement energy consumed by such behavior. Given that the ground traps caught females exclusively, female wasps seemed to actively engage in host-searching behavior on and below the ground. Of the wasps caught by Malaise traps and flower-visit sampling, five dominant species showed spatially different habitat use: S. historionica and C. annulata mainly occupied the grassland zone on the plain (Gp), S. decorata occupied the grassland zone on the terrace (Gt) and the forest zone (Fp), S. oculata occupied the small scrub zone on the plain (Sp), and M. schulthessi occupied the small scrub zone on the terrace (St). Ground trap samples also indicated that S. historionica and C. annulata shared habitats. On the basis of the observed seasonal changes in wasp abundance and the degree of wing wear as an index of wasp age, S. historionica and C. annulata are thought to be bivoltine species, whereas S. decorata, S. oculata, and M. schulthessi are thought to be univoltine species. These scoliid wasp species may play an important role in pollinating coastal plants in the grassland zone.

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