Sophia Pytel-Huta, Roman Semashchuk, Andriy Zatushevsky, Josyf Tsaryk



Background. The article presents the data obtained as a result of our research on the nests of an aboriginal wasp species on the territory of Ukraine – Sceliphron destillatorium (Illiger, 1807) that belongs to the family Sphecidae. We collected 54 wasp nests in different regions: Zakarpattia (n = 4), Ivano-Frankivsk (n = 1), Rivne (n = 12) and Lviv (n = 35) Regions.
The data are presented as a result of measuring the main morphometric parame­ters of nests (length, width of cells and mass of nests) which are typical of the species under study. The paper also reports the results of the soil texture analysis of the soil material of twelve wasp nests from four different places of “mass nesting” and compares the results with the control samples of the surrounding soils in the corresponding areas.
The study aimed at investigating the structure of the nests of S. destillatorium wasps, determining the soil texture of the soil material of nests from different regions of Ukraine and comparing them.
Material and Methods. The nests of Sceliphron destillatorium wasps were the object of the study. The morphometric parameters of nests were measured with an automatic digital caliper 0–150 mm and Axis A500 technical chemical scales. The soil texture analysis was performed by the pipette method.
The potentiometric method was used to determine the pH of the soil material. In addition, the determination of the CO2 carbonates was carried out according to the volumetric method.
Results. We have analysed 54 nests of S. destillatorium. 46 nests were found in “mass nesting places” (in some places several samples were found): in Lviv (3 sites) and Rivne Regions (1 site – Rivne Nature Reserve). The content of granulometric elements was determined in twelve wasp nests from these places and twelve control soil samples were taken around the places of “mass nesting” (three samples of surrounding soil from each location). In order to compare the particle size distribution of elements in all analysed samples (24), we drew cumulative curves and determined coefficients of uniformity and curvature.
Conclusions. Nest weighing revealed considerable variations in the mass of the nests – from 10.06 to 222.56 g – depending on the number of cells in a nest. The size of the nests also varied. The number of cells in the nests varied from 2 to 37 (mean = 13; n = 54 nests).
As a result of the soil texture analysis of the nest soil material, we determined the percentage of granulometric elements used by the wasps for the construction of their nests. It was found that fine sand was one of the predominant fractions in all twelve nests.
The similar content of all five fractions of soil material of wasp nests from different areas indicates that the soil texture of the nests which were built by S. destillatorium probably does not depend on their geographical location.


insects, Sceliphron destillatorium, morphometry of the nests, soil texture analysis of the mud dauber wasp nests

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