European beewolf

Philanthus triangulum

''Philanthus triangulum'', commonly known as the European beewolf or the bee-eating philanthus , is a solitary wasp that lives in Europe and Northern Africa. Although the adults of the species are herbivores , the species derives its name from the behavior of the inseminated females, who hunt Western honey bees. The female places several of its paralyzed prey together with an egg in a small underground chamber, to serve as food for the wasp larvae. All members of the genus ''Philanthus'' hunt various species of bees, but ''P. triangulum'' is apparently the only one that specializes in Western honey bees.
Bee Wolf Wasp Beewolves (genus Philanthus), also known as bee-hunters or bee-killer wasps, are solitary, predatory wasps, most of which prey on bees, hence their common name. The adult females dig tunnels in the ground for nesting, while the territorial males mark twigs and other objects with pheromones to claim the territory from competing males. Bee wolf,European beewolf,Insects,Northern Cape,Philanthus triangulum,bee,bee-hunter,bee-killer wasps,wasp,wasp eating bee


This wasp was previously considered to be one of the great aculeate rarities in Britain, with colonies only in sandy habitats on the Isle of Wight and Suffolk. It has undergone an expansion in range, with the wasp now locally common in a steadily increasing number of sites as far north as Yorkshire . The species has RDB2 status but, if revised, it is now likely that this status will be removed because of its increase in range and population.


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SpeciesP. triangulum
Photographed in
South Africa