Philanthus clypeata (THUNBERG, 1815); Crabro lapidaria (FABRICIUS, 1804) preocc.; Crabro nigridens (HERRICH-SCHAFFER, 1841); Sphex ovate (CHRIST, 1791); Crabro quadrifer (DUFOUR, 1841); Crabro vexilata (PANZER, 1797)
The males of this species have a striking appearance, with a greatly elongated head constricted behind the eyes to form a distinct, almost stalk-like, ‘neck’. The male’s fore metatarsus is also distinctive, being drawn out into a quadrate shield-shaped process. Females are less distinctive, closely resembling females of Ectemnius, although the gastral terga are more strongly punctate.
In Britain it has only ever been recorded from Weybridge in Surrey, and has not been seen there for over 150 years. The paucity of records and its early loss from Britain makes it difficult to assess its true status, but it is likely to have been a relatively short-lived colonist only, with a single record in 1848 and again in 1853 (Richards, 1980; Baldock, 2010). Given its relatively widespread occurrence in France, it is perhaps a little surprising that it has seemingly not been recorded from the Channel Islands.
It has a rather southern distribution within Europe, being very rare in Scandinavia (Lomholdt, 1984), but occurring across southern Europe, north Africa and into western and central Asia.