Get access

First contribution to the bionomics of the pollen wasp Ceramius palaestinensis (Giordani Soika, 1957) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Masarinae) in Turkey


Volker Mauss, Zentrum für Wespenkunde, Limbachstraße 27, 74545 Michelfeld, Germany. Email:


Data about the bionomics of the pollen wasp Ceramius palaestinensis (Giordani Soika, 1957) are presented for the first time. Ceramius palaestinensis is characterized by the following ethological elements: (i) the nest is excavated in non-friable soil; (ii) the burrow is surmounted by a turret from earth extracted from within the burrow; (iii) the nest is possibly perennial; (iv) the nest has a relatively short, vertical to sub-vertical main shaft with an expansion at the bottom; (v) the main shaft is not terminated by a cell; (vi) secondary shafts are absent; (vii) the cells are sub-horizontal, all at different depths; (viii) brood cells are constructed mud-cells built within an excavated cell, formed from earth excavated within the burrow; (ix) imagines visit only flowers of Trifolium (Fabaceae) and brood cells are provisioned exclusively with pollen from this plant genus; Trifolium species varying considerably in inflorescence morphology lead to different positions of foraging wasps on the inflorescences during flower visits; Trifolium resupinatum or T. clusii inflorescences with resupinate flowers function as a disc-shaped pseudanthium with the vexilla of the flowers arranged on the outer periphery serving as petal-like exhibition organs; and (x) males patrol and perch at water collection sites, at flowers and within nesting aggregations; copulations or copulatory attempts are observed there.