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Ecological and behavioural observations of a nesting aggregation of the endemic Tasmanian Digger Wasp Williamsita tasmanica

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Maynard, D and Fearn, S 2021 , 'Ecological and behavioural observations of a nesting aggregation of the endemic Tasmanian Digger Wasp Williamsita tasmanica' , Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, vol. 155, no. 1 , pp. 43-50 , doi: doi.org/10.26749/rstpp.155.1.43.

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Abstract

The endemic Tasmanian Digger Wasp Williamsita tasmanica is only known from 13 registered museum specimens, with little recorded on its life history. A nesting aggregation of females was observed over a 25-day period, enabling the first detailed observations of host log, nest design, prey and egg deposition, and behavioural patterns to be made. Cells were provisioned with large flies (order Diptera) of nine species from nine genera and four families to observe behaviour. This aggregation used a large eucalypt with an exposed core of friable brown rot for nesting. Our study showed that the day-to-day behaviour of the female is predictable, centring on nest construction, hunting large flies and egg-laying. This information has been lodged on the Atlas of Living Australia and voucher specimens collected for the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery to facilitate further taxonomic study.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Maynard, D and Fearn, S
Keywords: Crabronidae, Williamsita tasmanica, Tasmania, endemic, eucalyptus, brown rot, nest design, prey species, egg deposition
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
ISSN: 0080-4703
DOI / ID Number: doi.org/10.26749/rstpp.155.1.43
Copyright Information:

Copyright The Royal Society of Tasmania

Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
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