A Wasp on the Firehills.

Removal of blocks of single-age gorse on the Firehills has created significant areas of new habitat, and it is interesting to observe colonisation of this new habitat. The past couple of weeks has seen the cut and removal of two year’s growth, and has left a short stubble of gorse and grass. A survey of this seemingly unwelcoming habitat found a most distinctive wasp. It was one of the parasitic wasps that tend to be parasitoids of gall-forming insects or mites. Identification proved a challenge, but we can now relish the thought that Sympiesis dolichogaster has been found in the Country Park. That might not seem too exciting at first reading, but the only other UK record was on the Isles of Scilly, hence it appears to be the first mainland UK record.

 

Sympiesis dolichogaster

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