Spider-eating wasp moves into Britain

May 10, 2006

A rare Mediterranean wasp has reportedly been discovered in Britain for the first time.

The insect -- episyron gallicum -- was found breeding in a quarry that's maintained as a custom-built habitat for rare insects, The London Telegraph reported Wednesday. The quarry is located next to the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Scientists say the wasp, until now, has never been reported closer to Britain than France, but the increasingly warmer climate may be promoting a change in its habitat.

The wasp seeks spiders that hunt their prey on the ground, rather than building webs. The wasp is incredibly nimble, dancing around its prey to outwit it before paralyzing the spider with a quick sting, the Telegraph said.

The immobile spider is then sealed in a tunnel with a wasp egg laid on it. When the larva hatches, it uses the spider as a source of fresh food.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Cities adapt to growing ranks of coyotes, cougars and other urban wildlife

Related Stories

Researchers name new insect for 'Harry Potter' creature

November 20, 2014

The series of "Harry Potter" fantasy books was the inspiration for the naming of a new insect discovered by NDSU researchers. The species of stink bug was named "Thestral incognitus," after the imaginary thestrals created ...

Why there are so many spiders in Britain's homes this year

October 20, 2014

Giant spiders are invading Britain's homes - if media reports this year are anything to go by. But are they dangerous? Museum expert Stuart Hine explains why we are seeing more spiders this autumn, and what you should do ...

Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles

July 24, 2014

Invertebrate numbers have decreased by 45% on average over a 35 year period in which the human population doubled, reports a study on the impact of humans on declining animal numbers. This decline matters because of the enormous ...

Recommended for you

Robotic insect mimics nature's extreme moves

July 30, 2015

The concept of walking on water might sound supernatural, but in fact it is a quite natural phenomenon. Many small living creatures leverage water's surface tension to maneuver themselves around. One of the most complex maneuvers, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.