Subfamily Philanthinae - Social Digger Wasps 

Family Crabronidae

This page contains pictures and information about Social Digger Wasps in Subfamily Philanthinae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Digger Wasps in subfamily Philanthinae are medium in size. They are black with orange-yellow bandings. There is the petiole segment between the thorax and abdomen. The abdomen is constricted between segments. The head is relatively large and wide. The hind legs, or femur, are expanded and flattened. 
Those Digger wasps nest in bare, firm ground. They nest communally and there is some division of labour. All Australian wasps in this subfamily Philanthinae are in Cerceris genus, tribe Cercerini.
They prey on small beetle, includes Cleridae and other families, for their larvae. 

Cerceris Digger Wasp I
DSC_8842.jpg (111513 bytes) DSC_2833.jpg (89065 bytes) wpeE.jpg (36771 bytes)
Cerceris sp., body length 10mm 
This Digger Wasp is medium in size . The head is large and wide with the yellow face. They build nest on sandy ground. There is always a guard at the entry of the nest. They prey on small beetle for their larvae. We have detail records of this wasp, please check this page.  
Cerceris Digger Wasp III
PWC_9841.jpg (167220 bytes) PWC_9842.jpg (210771 bytes)
Cerceris sp., body length 10mm  
Photos were taken in Ford Road Research Area on Jan 2008. Please visit this page for more images.
Cerceris Digger Wasp IV
DSC_3467.jpg (169220 bytes) DSC_3457.jpg (200485 bytes)
Cerceris sp., body length 12mm 
We found this Digger Wasp when it was capturing a beetle. Details please check this page

Reference and Link:
1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 993.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p299. 
3. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
4. Communal Nesting in the Digger Wasp Cerceris australis (Hymenoptera : Sphecidae) - HE Evans and AW Hook, Australian Journal of Zoology 30(4) 557 - 568.  

Back to Top

Up ] Crabroninae ] Bembicinae (previously Nyssoninae) ] [ Philanthinae ]


See us in our Home page. Download large pictures in our Wallpaper web page. Give us comments in our Guest Book, or send email to us. A great way to support us is to buy the CD from us.  
Last updated: July 14, 2012.