Conops vesicularis (from Kröber, 1925)



Conops are wasp-like Conopids, with their vivid yellow on black body colour. They behave like solitary wasps. Adults are frequent flower visitors, to be found on e.g. composites, umbellifers, Knautia &c. Larvae are endoparasites of bumble bees.


1.a. Thorax at the sides with a silverish stripe (from wing to leg 2) -> 2

1.b. Thorax without silverish stripe at the sides -> 10

2.a. Scutellum entirely yellow -> 3

2.b. Scutellum black, black with yellow on basis or entirely reddish brown -> 4

3.a. Frons with a longitudinal black stripe from antennal implant upwards. 11-12 mm. NL, B, D. -> Conops scutellatus Meigen

3.b. Frons with a black cross stripe from one eye to the other. 11-12 mm. Mediterranean. -> Conops silaceus Meigen

4.b. Face above antennal implant black, except the hill containing the ocelli, which has the same colour as the eyes -> 5

4.a. Face above antennal implant completely or partly yellow -> 7

5.b. Tergite 1-3 mainly black: yellow hind margin smaller than black front margin (if rather yellow, femora with large dark ring on middle) -> 6

5.a. Tergite 1-3 (and further) mainly yellow: yellow hind margin broader than black front margin (females darker than males); femur 2-3 not thickened, with at most a small brown patch at the centre. Female: theca semicircular, yellow-brown. 7-12 mm. Southern Europe. -> Conops vitellinus Loew

6.a. Femur 2 and 3 not thickened in the middle, uniformly pale with at most a small darkened, diffusely marked spot. Female: theca yellow, rounded. Male: tergite 5 black with broad yellow band at hind border. 10-15 mm. NL, B, D. Conops quadrifasciatus

6.b. Femur 2 and 3 somewhat thickened in the middle, with a large brown to black patch that (almost) forms a ring. Female: theca small and black. Male: tergite 5 yellow. 13 mm. D. Conops ceriaeformis Meigen.

Jizz: females easy to pick out: abdomen slender and blackish, thickened at segment 3. Males yellowish, each segment slightly swollen.

Abdomen of, first, C. quadrifasciatus male and, second, C. ceriaeformis above male and below female.

7.a. Face above the antennal implant yellow, without black -> 8

7.b. Face above the antennal implant with a large black or a small brown spot in the yellow background ->9

8.a. Wing with well marked dark stripe; antennae yellow-red; scutellum reddish brown; abdomen: tergites 1-3 black on centre, reddish on side, tergite 4-6 densily dusted with golden dust. Female: theca reddish brown. 8-11 mm. Southern Europe, Africa -> Conops elegans Meigen -> 8

8.b. Wing hyaline to yellowish; antennae brown to black; scutellum black with reddish base; abdomen: females with first segment reddish brown and the others black with silverish hind border, males with all tergites yellow to red. Female: theca blackish. 8-11 mm. B, southern Europe -> Conops flavifrons Meigen

9.a. Face above the antennal implant yellow with a large black spot, black spot occupies more than half the frons width at the antennal implant; face between lower border of eye and mouth edge with a black spot; antennae black in male, more brownish in female; abdomen black with small yellow bands on hind margins of tergites; scutellum: black, sometimes with yellow basis. 10-12 mm. Europe -> Conops strigatus Wiedemann in Meigen

Jizz: rather darkish Conops, yellow and black on abdomen less contrasting, legs extensively darkened on centre.

9.b. Face above the antennal implant yellow with a small brown spot, that is as wide as the antennal implant, leaving the majority of the frons yellow; face below eye without black spot; antennae reddish to dark brown; abdomen black with yellow dust bands, yellow band on tergite 2 covering almost entire tergite, with triangular black incision in the front margin. 10-13 mm. Southern Europe, Africa -> Conops insignis Loew

10.a. Body colour with reddish colour in addition to the black and yellow pattern; antennae, scutellum and femora reddish brown. Female: theca yellow with black tip. 14-18 mm. NL, B, D. -> Conops vesicularis Linnaeus

Jizz: large brownish Conops, not unlike a Vespa crabro in flight.

10.b. Body black and yellow, without reddish colours; antennae black, scutellum black on basis, yellow on apex; femora yellow with a broad black ring on the top half. Female: theca black, long and pointed. 9-13 mm. NL, B, D. -> Conops flavipes Linnaeus

Jizz: Brightly coloured Conops, legs basally bright yellow, apically black. Scutellum yellow atthe top.


Van Veen M. 1984. De Blaaskopvliegen en roofvliegen van Nederland en België. Jeugdbondsuitgeverij, Utrecht.
Last updated 31.03.2010