Notes on the Biology of Philanthus Bicinctus (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae)

Kenneth B. Armitage, University of Kansas


Philanthus bicinctus (Mickel) nests in aggregations and provisions its nest primarily with Bombus spp. The activity of female P. bicinctus was divided into three major categories of digging, feeding, and provisioning. Nesting and hunting behavior are described. The distribution of the eight species of Bombus in a sample taken as prey by Philanthus and in a sample collected in a clover patch was significantly (P = 0.02) different. There also were significant differences for the distribution of males of 4 species of Bombus in the two samples. The distribution of B. bifarius with red hairs on the abdomen in the categories of prey, field, and avoid was not independent (P < 0.001). The distribution of wing wear in the same categories departed from independence for B. bifarius (P < 0.001) and B. occidentalis (0.01 > P > 0.001). These distributions indicate some kind of prey selection by the female P. bicinctits, but the mechanism is unknown.