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: Scent of a spider: Sex pheromone of the wasp spider identified

Related Stories

Brown widow spider reported for the first time in Tahiti

August 25, 2015

Tahiti is a popular tourist destination, but one unwanted visitor has decided to make its home there: the brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus). A paper published in the Journal of Medical Entomology has reported the ...

Tiny Wasp Saves Pacific Island Paradise

June 21, 2006

It was a tourist bureau’s nightmare. A plant-killing invasive insect establishes a beachhead on a Pacific island paradise and quickly spreads, leaving tourists and locals who stroll down tree-lined promenades drenched in ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

More to rainbows than meets the eye

August 25, 2016

In-depth review charts the scientific understanding of rainbows and highlights the many practical applications of this fascinating interaction between light, liquid and gas.

New method developed for producing some metals

August 25, 2016

The MIT researchers were trying to develop a new battery, but it didn't work out that way. Instead, thanks to an unexpected finding in their lab tests, what they discovered was a whole new way of producing the metal antimony—and ...

Rosetta captures comet outburst

August 25, 2016

In unprecedented observations made earlier this year, Rosetta unexpectedly captured a dramatic comet outburst that may have been triggered by a landslide.

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.