Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 12 - Pompilidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) - Abstract

Harris, AC 1987. Pompilidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera). Fauna of New Zealand 12, 160 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 12. ISBN 0-477-02501-3 (print) ). Published 13 Nov 1987


Eleven species of Pompilidae are recognised from New Zealand, of which ten are endemic. The four genera belong to two subfamilies: Pepsinae - Cryptocheilus Panzer, Priocnemis Schiōdte, Sphictostethus Kohl; and Pompilinae - Epipompilus Kohl. Chrysocurgus Haupt and Trichocurgus Haupt are removed from synonymy with Chirodamus Haliday. Trichocurgus is reinstated as a subgenus of Priocnemis, and Chrysocurgus is synonymised with Sphictostethus, which is restored to generic status within tribe Pepsini. Ten specific names are placed into synonymy. Priocnemis (Trichocurgus) ordishi, Priocnemis (T.) crawi, and Sphictostethus calvus are described as new. The sexes are correctly associated for all species, most for the first time. All previously known species are redescribed, morphological structures of adults and larvae are illustrated, and keys are given to tribes, genera, and species for adults (both sexes) and larvae. Taxonomic decisions are supported by data on biology, behaviour, and distribution. Behaviour, nesting cycles, life histories, and final-instar larvae are described for all species. Three species nest above ground. Of these, Epipompilus insularis Kohl oviposits directly on spiders, usually in situ within their retreats, without making nests; Sphictostethus fugax (Fabricius) is a mud-dauber favouring beetle pupal chambers in trees; and Sphictostethus calvus nests in rotting logs. Priocnemis (Trichocurgus) nitidiventris (Smith) makes single-celled nests exclusively in sand. The other species nest below ground in diverse habitats, making either single-celled nests or multi-celled nests which in some species may be used by many generations over a period of years. Geographical variation (including mimicry and parallel ecophenotypical colour variation) is described, and distributions of all species are indicated. In four species melanism varies clinally from Spirits Bay (34°27'S) to Port Pegasus, Stewart Island (47°14'S) in relation to climatic factors. Varying degrees of melanism were induced experimentally in some species (but not in others) by lowering the temperatures experienced by the pupa. Abrupt disruptions in the clines occur at the sites of past and present geographical barriers; hence seven subspecies or races can be recognised, but these are not named. Extralimital relationships of the New Zealand species are indicated. Cryptocheilus australis (Guérin) was introduced from Australia in the past three decades. E. insularis has strong Australian affinities, and the three Sphictostethus species are closely related to species in Tasmania and Chile. Extensive host records are given for all species.