Wasp beetle (Clytus arietis)

loading
Wasp beetle on leaf
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Wasp beetle fact file

Wasp beetle description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderColeoptera
FamilyCerambycidae
GenusClytus

The wasp beetle is quite aptly-named as, to a casual glance, it does resemble a wasp. However, a closer look will reveal typical beetle characteristics in body type and behaviour. It belongs to the sub-family of long-horn beetles. Colour-wise, the wasp beetle shares the same warning pattern as its un-related namesake. The basic background is black, with a symmetrical pattern of yellow bands and slashes running laterally across the body or obliquely from the centre of the back. The legs are orange-brown, the two hind pairs rather longer than the front. The antennae are brown with black tips.

Size
Length: 6 – 12 mm
Top

Wasp beetle biology

The larvae of the wasp beetle feed on the wood of deciduous trees, which have been invaded by a particular species of fungus. The adults emerge in May and feed on the pollen of different species of flowers, the females occasionally taking insects to provide extra protein for egg-production. The adult beetles have a short life and most have died by the end of the summer.

Wasp beetles practice what is known as ‘protective-colouration’, mimicking a more aggressive species of animal. As well as the wasp-like markings on their bodies, they also copy the wasps’ style of moving about across a flower-head, adopting the side-ways walk characteristic of wasps. Unlike wasps, however, they lack the sting in the tail.

Top

Wasp beetle range

This species has an extensive range, being found across Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and southwards through Asia Minor.

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
Top

Wasp beetle habitat

The wasp beetle is found mainly in deciduous woodland where there are plenty of open glades with flowers.

Top

Wasp beetle status

Common.

Top

Wasp beetle threats

This species is still very common across its range and chief threats come from inappropriate management or loss of their woodland habitat.

Top

Wasp beetle conservation

There are currently no conservation projects specifically aimed at preserving the wasp beetle. Although the species has a preference for woodland with plenty of open areas where flowers can grow, it is polyphagous, meaning it can feed from a number of different plant species. The wood-boring larvae only require trees that are host to certain fungi but can be found living within a variety of tree species.

There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

Top

Glossary

Deciduous
A plant that sheds its leaves at the end of the growing season.
Larvae
Stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
Top

References

X
Close

Image credit

Wasp beetle on leaf  
Wasp beetle on leaf

© Nick Upton / naturepl.com

Nature Picture Library
5a Great George Street
Bristol
BS1 5RR
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 117 911 4675
Fax: +44 (0) 117 911 4699
info@naturepl.com
http://www.naturepl.com

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Wasp beetle (Clytus arietis) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog