Rare wasp spotted in Worcester - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Agrothereutes abbreviates by Cathryn Dhonau
Agrothereutes abbreviates by Cathryn Dhonau

A rare ichneumon wasp Agrothereutes abbreviates has been seen in Worcestershire and recorded as part of a citizen science project to record wildlife in the county.

Cathryn Dhonau submitted a photo of an ichneumon wasp via the Trust's wildlife sightings scheme at the end of June. Ichneumon wasps are often very difficult to identify but Cathryn had struck lucky and had stumbled upon one that was identifiable from the single photograph that she took on her camera phone. National Ichneumonidae expert, Jaswinder Boparai, confirmed the wasp as Agrothereutes abbreviates.

The wasp is one of more than 5000 species of parasitoid wasps in the UK. Depending on the species, parasitoid wasps lay their eggs on or into their hosts – the host provides all the food that the hatched larvae needs to develop into an adult. It may sound gruesome but it’s a fascinating lifestyle that contributes to nature’s balance.

Many of these wasps don’t have a common name as they’re not often seen and very little is known about them. The national database shows that there are just 10 other records in the UK for Agrothereutes abbreviates. Eight of these are from before 1920 and of the three more modern records, this is the first time it’s been recorded in Worcestershire.

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Posted On: 04/08/2021

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