25th January 2017
A new to Britain wasp, Isodontia meixcana (de Saussure), known as the Grass-carrying wasp, has been discovered at Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park.
About 2cm long, it is a striking addition to the UK fauna and gets its name from its habit of using grass as nest material.
It likes to visit flowers such as Mint and Gypsy wort, which are abundant at the Greenwich park, and preys on bush crickets, which are also common at the site.
Researcher David Notton of the Natural History Museum said the wasp is pretty docile and a solitary species, so does not form large nests.
“It’s quite unlike the better known and aggressive yellow/black social wasps with which people may be familiar.
“We don’t know how it got to the UK, and although it’s a non-native invasive species there’s no evidence to suggest it’s a threat to UK fauna.”
The full scientific paper on Isodontia meixcana (de Saussure) is available at: www.researchgate.net/publication/312525668_Grass-carrying_wasp_Isodontia_mexicana_de_Saussure_genus_and_species_new_to_Britain_Hymenoptera_Sphecidae
I used to work at Askern pit so I've got an affinity with the place. I've been volunteering at the park for the past couple of years, helping people get the most out of it.
Pete Robson, volunteer at Warren House Park
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