Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (2): 22060.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022060

Special Issue: 昆虫多样性与生态功能

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity •     Next Articles

Diversity of cavity-nesting Hymenoptera and their parasitoids in subtropical forests, southeastern China

Shikun Guo1,2, Mingqiang Wang1,2, Pengfei Guo1,3, Jingting Chen1,2, Zeqing Niu1, Arong Luo1, Juanjuan Yang1,2, Qingsong Zhou1, Chaodong Zhu1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    2. College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3. Guizhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guiyang 550025
  • Received:2022-01-30 Accepted:2022-06-21 Online:2023-02-20 Published:2022-08-08
  • Contact: *Chaodong Zhu, E-mail:


Backgruound & Aims: Cavity-nesting Hymenoptera are both predators and pollinators and provide key services for ecosystem functioning. Previously, there have been few studies on cavity-nesting Hymenoptera in subtropical forests. Yet this study aims to better understand the diversity and biology of cavity-nesting Hymenopterans in subtropical forest in China.

Methods: Trap nests were used to study the biology, life history, diversity and ecology of solitary bees and wasps. We used this method to collect cavity-nesting Hymenoptera in 88 plots. Based on five years of long-term monitoring and sampling on Biodiversity-Ecosystem Functioning Experiment China (BEF-China) platform, we recorded the species diversity of cavity-nesting Hymenoptera and relevant occurrence patterns of solitary bees and wasps.

Results: We found 3 orders, 25 families and 128 species in the trap nest system. Pollinators accounted for 26.6% of the diversity, mainly including Colletidae and Megachilidae with 12 species in 2 families. Predators represented 73.4% of the diversity, mainly including Eumeninae, Sphecidae, Pompilidae and Crabronidae with 44 species in 4 families. There were 72 species of parasitoids in 19 families, mainly including Sarcophagidae, Bombyliidae, Chrysididae, Trigonalyidae, and Eulophidae.

Conclusion: For species composition, we found the diversity of pollinators was significantly less than that of predators. Meanwhile, we noted the protandry was common in cavity-nesting Hymenoptera and more obvious in overwintering individuals. In addition, we also found variable occurrence patterns in different species. The occurrence time of Megachilidae and Crabronidae were more concentrated than that of Eumeninae and Pompilidae. Finally, by constructing the interaction relationship between host and parasitoids, we explained the abundance and richness of parasitoids to be regulated by the bottom-up effect of lower trophic hosts. Ultimately, a greater understanding of these organisms will help to better protect the resources wild cavity-nesting Hymenoptera use for their ecological services.

Key words: BEF-China, biodiversity, solitary bee and wasp, parasitoid, biological characteristics