Alice Springs Fauna •

Alice Springs WaspsAbispa ephippium Agriomyia maculata Bembicinae Bembix Blue Hairy Flower Wasp Cryptocheilus Cryptocheilus bicolor Delta latreillei Delta philantes Eumeninae Mud Nests and Potter Wasps Orchid Dupe Wasp Paralastor (Potter Wasp) Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Sceliphron laetum Thynnid Flower Wasps Velvet Ant Family (Tribe Dasymutillini) Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris radula) Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris tasmaniensis)

The Paralastor is a very large Australian genus of potter wasps. They are also referred to as Eumeninae sp (although the term Eumeninae refers to the subfamily).

Alice Springs has it share of Paralastor sp including this striking yellow and dark brown one seen in an urban garden.

Paralastor sp, Alice Springs NT
Paralastor sp, Alice Springs NT
Paralastor sp, Alice Springs NT
Paralastor sp, Alice Springs NT

Another Paralastor species of small potter wasp in the following images, are approximately 1 cm in length. A pale cream and brown wasp, they are usually found building their nesting cell within a large mud nest belonging to the larger potter wasps. Usually these mud nest would no longer be used (maybe last years mud nest), although, we have observed the large potter wasps adding to an existing mud nest created by themselves or another wasp of the same species. Sometimes the small Paralastor potter wasp, may be sharing the same mud structure with other insects such as the Megachile aurifrons.

Pictured here is the Paralastor sp building their nest on a larger mud nest that was previously made and used by the large Orange Potter Wasp (Delta latreille). This same mud nest was also being used by the Golden-browed Resin Bee (Megachile aurifrons).

Paralastor sp (subfamily Eumeninae) - small potter wasp, Alice Springs NT
Paralastor sp (subfamily Eumeninae) – small potter wasp, Alice Springs NT

One of the unique features of this wasp is they build a small thin funnel shaped nest that protrudes out from the bigger mud nest.

Paralastor sp (subfamily Eumeninae) - small potter wasp, Alice Springs NT
Paralastor sp (subfamily Eumeninae) – small potter wasp, Alice Springs NT

We witness the Parlastor sp wasps making their nests in another larger mud nest.

Paralastor sp (subfamily Eumeninae) - small potter wasp, Alice Springs NT
Paralastor sp (subfamily Eumeninae) – small potter wasp, Alice Springs NT
Funnel of the mud nest by the small potter wasp Paralastor sp, Alice Springs NT
Funnel of the mud nest by the small potter wasp Paralastor sp, Alice Springs NT
Funnel of the mud nest by the small potter wasp Paralastor sp, Alice Springs NT
Funnel of the mud nest by the small potter wasp Paralastor sp, Alice Springs NT

In the following photograph, the original owner and maker of this substantial solid looking mud nest was Delta latreillei (a large orange potter wasp). The two funnel extrusion at the top of the photo is that of the small potter wasp Paralastor sp. The two exposed holes in the bottom left were being prepared by the Megachile aurifrons for laying their young.

Mud Wasp (Delta latreillei) being used by other wasp and bee species, Alice Springs, NT
Disused mud nest of the Delta latreillei being used by other wasp and bee species, Alice Springs, NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Superfamily: Vespoidea
  • Family: Vespidae
  • Subfamily: Eumeninae
  • Genus: Paralastor

Footnote & References

  1. Paralastor Saussure, 1856, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/cb5dd899-900b-468b-be44-eeeb8e6fc254

Alice Springs WaspsAbispa ephippium Agriomyia maculata Bembicinae Bembix Blue Hairy Flower Wasp Cryptocheilus Cryptocheilus bicolor Delta latreillei Delta philantes Eumeninae Mud Nests and Potter Wasps Orchid Dupe Wasp Paralastor (Potter Wasp) Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Sceliphron laetum Thynnid Flower Wasps Velvet Ant Family (Tribe Dasymutillini) Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris radula) Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris tasmaniensis)

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