Repeated predation of Odonata by the hornet Vespa crabro (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)


Predation of aggregated, ovipositing tandems of Sympetrum sanguineum and S. vulgatum by the hornet Vespa crabro was observed in Belarus. The same species of hornet was seen killing territorial males and copulating females of Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis in Italy. Numerous remains of these odonates at the oviposition sites suggest that attacks occur frequently. A short review of vespid predation of Odonata is given. Species of the genera Vespa and Vespula have often been reported as predators of single, emerging and ovipositing odonates, taking prey as big as large Aeshna species. Odonata may form an important source of protein for V. crabro in parts of its range. Such prdation may contribute strongly to odonate mortality locally. The disturbing effect may also disrupt opportunity for reproductive behaviour.

Issue section: Article