HomeWasp classificationExpeditionsLinksFigWebBiodiversity ExplorerPermits

Afrotropical Pepsinae (Tarantula hawks)

(Life: Kingdom: Metazoa (animals); Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Hymenoptera; Superfamily: Vespoidea; Family: Pompilidae)

Classification

Auplopus Spinola, 1841
  Cryptocheilus Panzer, 1806
  Cyemagenia Arnold, 1946
Cyphononyx Dahlbom, 1845
Dichragenia Haupt, 1950
  Dipogon Fox, 1897
  Diplonyx Saussure, 1887
  Guichardia Arnold, 1951

Hemipepsis Dahlbom, 1844

Java Pate, 1946
  Paraclavelia Haupt, 1930
  Poecilagenia Haupt, 1927
  Priocnemis Schiřdte, 1837
  Protoclavelia Arnold, 1932
  Schistonyx Saussure, 1887
  Trachyglyptus Arnold, 1934

Distribution

Worldwide.

Biology

Females hunt a variety of spiders with the larger pompilids targeting Baboon spiders (Theraphosidae) and Rain spiders (Palystes). The paralysed spiders are dragged to a pre-excavated burrow, where they lay an egg on the spider. On hatching the larva feeds on the preserved prey item. Species of Hemipepsis are important specialist pollinators of a diverse assemblage of African plants.

References

Johnson SD. 2005. Specialized pollination by spider-hunting wasps in the African orchid Disa sankeyi. Plant Systematics and Evolution 251: 153–160.

Johnson SD, Ellis A, Dötterl S. 2007. Specialization for pollination by beetles and wasps: the role of lollipop hairs and fragrance in Satyrium microrrhynchum (Orchidaceae). American Journal of Botany 94: 47–55.

Ollerton J, Johnson SD, Cranmer L, Kellie S. 2003. The pollination ecology of an assemblage of grassland asclepiads in South Africa. Annals of Botany 92: 807–834.

Shuttleworth A, Johnson SD. 2006. Specialized pollination by large spider-hunting wasps and self-incompatibility in the African milkweed Pachycarpus asperifolius. International Journal of Plant Sciences 167: 1177–1186.

Shuttleworth A, Johnson SD. 2008. Bimodal pollination by wasps and beetles in the African milkweed Xysmalobium undulatum. Biotropica 40: 568–574.

Shuttleworth A, Johnson SD. 2009a. A key role for floral scent in a wasp-pollination system in Eucomis (Hyacinthaceae). Annals of Botany 103: 715–725.

Shuttleworth A, Johnson SD. 2009b. The importance of scent and nectar filters in a specialized wasp-pollination system. Functional Ecology 23: 931–940.

Shuttleworth A, Johnson SD. 2009c. Specialized pollination in the African milkweed Xysmalobium orbiculare: a key role for floral scent in the attraction of spider-hunting wasps. Plant Systematics and Evolution 280: 37–44.

Shuttleworth A, Johnson SD. 2009d. New records of insect pollinators for South African asclepiads (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae). South African Journal of Botany 75: 689–698.

Shuttleworth A, Johnson SD. 2009e. Palp-faction: an African milkweed dismembers its wasp pollinators. Environmental Entomology 38: 741–747.

Shuttleworth, A. & Johnson, S.D. 2012. The Hemipepsis wasp-pollination system in South Africa: a comparative analysis of trait convergence in a highly specialized plant guild. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 168: 278–299. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2012.01216.x

Steiner KE, Whitehead VB, Johnson SD. 1994. Floral and pollinator divergence in two sexually deceptive South African orchids. American Journal of Botany 81: 185–194.

Wahis, R. 2000. Revision des especes afrotropicales, indo-orientales

et australiennes du genre Java Pate 1946 (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae, Pepsinae). Notes Fauniques de Gembloux 38, 43-76.

Credits

Photographs © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums) or © Felicity Grundlingh or © Duncan Butchart or © Frédéric Durand (SHNAO).


Web author Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)

Copyright 2004-2014 Iziko Museums of South Africa

customisable counter