Argogorytes mystaceus

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Argogorytes mystaceus
Crabronidae - Argogorytes mystaceus.JPG
Argogorytes mystaceus. Dorsal view
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Crabronidae
Genus: Argogorytes
A. mystaceus
Binomial name
Argogorytes mystaceus
(Linnaeus 1761)

Argogorytes mystaceus is a species of solitary wasp in the family Crabronidae.[2]


This species has a Palearctic distribution occurring in most European countries from Ireland in the west[3] and east to Siberia, Japan, Korea, China; south to Turkey.[4]


These wasps prefer deciduous woodland and hedge rows with sandy soil in sunny mountain areas with abundant flowering plants, at an elevation of over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level.[3][5]


Argogorytes mystaceus can reach a length of 10–14 millimetres (0.39–0.55 in) in females, of 8–11 millimetres (0.31–0.43 in) in males. These medium-sized wasps have a black abdomen with a few yellow stripes and no petiole. In males antennae are very long. Mesothorax and scutellum are black. Legs are pale yellowish brown, with a black base.[6][7]


Females of Argogorytes mystaceus usually visit Apiaceae flowers,[5] wood spurge and honeydew on sweet chestnut leaves. Males are known to be pollinator of the flowers of fly orchids (mainly Ophrys insectifera).[3][8] The males of this species try to copulate (pseudocopulation) with these specialized flowers, that mimic (pouyannian mimicry) the shape and the scent of the females, with the purpose of deceiving them and thereby pollinate the flowers.[9][10][11]

These solitary wasps nest in soil in dry banks. Larvae feed on larvae of small leafhoppers and spittlebugs (mainly Philaenus and Aphrophora species). They fly in one generation from mid-May to mid-August. Among their natural enemies there are parasitoid wasps (especially Ichneumonidae larvae) and nest parasites (Nysson spinosus).[5][6]


  1. ^ Catalogue of life
  2. ^ Biolib
  3. ^ a b c G.W. Allen (2001). "Argogorytes mystaceus (Linnaeus,1761)". Bees Wasps and Ants Recording Society. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  4. ^ Argogorytes mystaceus in Fauna europaea
  5. ^ a b c Commanster
  6. ^ a b Bohart, R.M. & Menke, A.S. 1976. Sphecid Wasps of the World: a Generic Revision. — Berkeley: Univ. California Press. — ix, 695 pp.
  8. ^ Leendert van der Pijl, Calaway H. Dodson (1966). Orchid Flowers: Their Pollination and Evolution (Kapitel 11, Mimicry and Deception). University of Miami Press, Coral Gables. ISBN 0-87024-069-2. OCLC 310489511
  9. ^ Ingemar Hjorth (2003). Ekologi – för miljöns skull. Liber förlag AB, Stockholm. ISBN 91-47-05104-3
  10. ^ Sven Nilsson (1987). Orkidéer - Europas vildväxande arter. Wahlström & Widstrand. ISBN 91-46-15422-1
  11. ^ Howard Ensign EVANS, Kevin M. O'Neill, Howard Ensign Eva The Sand Wasps: natural history and behavior

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