Prof. Dr. Erhard Strohm


Department for Zoology

University of Regensburg

93040 Regensburg


Phone: +49-941-943-3072

Room: D4.1.303

Email: erhard.strohm [at]


Current research

I am interested in different aspects of the behaviour, ecology and life history evolution of insects, mainly in three species of aculeate Hymenoptera, the European beewolf (Philanthus triangulum, Sphecidae), the solitary Red Mason Bee (Osmia rufa = bicornis, Megachilidae) and the primitively eusocial bee Lasioglossum malachurum (Halictidae). There are currently four main focuses that are investigated in diploma theses and PhD projects: (1) Allocation of parental investment among progeny. (2) Chemical ecology of Hymenoptera. (3) Plasticity of life history in bees and wasps(4) Interactions between insects and microorganisms.

Curriculum vitae


Study of biology, Diploma thesis, University of Würzburg


Founding member of a company for ecological consulting


Editorial assistant for Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology


PhD in Zoology, University of Würzburg (thesis received the Horst Wiehe Award of the German Zoological Society, DZG)


Wissenschaftlicher Assistent, Department of Ethology, University of Bonn


Wissenschaftlicher Assistent and Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, University of Würzburg


Habilitation in Zoology, University of Würzburg

Since 2004

Professor for Zoology at the University of Regensburg


Strohm E, Herzner G, Ruther J, Kaltenpoth M, Engl T (2019 in press) eLife 2019;8:e43718. Nitric oxide radicals are emitted by wasp eggs to kill mold fungi. DOI:

Weiss K, Herzner G, Strohm E (2017) Sexual selection and the evolution of male pheromone glands in philanthine wasps (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae). BMC Evolutionary Biology (2017) 17:128

Weiss K, Strohm E, Kaltenpoth M, Herzner G (2015) Comparative morphology of the postpharyngeal gland in the Philanthinae (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae) and the evolution of an antimicrobial brood protection mechanism. BMC Evolutionary Biology 15: 291.

Wurdack M, Herbertz S, Dowling D, Kroiss J, Strohm E, Baur H, Niehuis O, Schmitt T (2015). Striking cuticular hydrocarbon dimorphism in the mason wasp Odynerus spinipes and its possible evolutionary cause (Hymenoptera: Chrysididae, Vespidae) Proeedings of the R. Society B 282: 20151777. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.1777.

Kaltenpoth M, Roeser-Mueller K, Koehler S, Peterson A, Nechitaylo T, Stubblefield JW, Herzner G, Seger J, Strohm E (2014). Partner choice and fidelity stabilize co-evolution in a Cretaceous-age defensive symbiosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 111: 6359-6364.

Herzner G, Kaltenpoth M, Poettinger T, Weiss K, Koedam D, Kroiss J, Strohm E (2013) Morphology, chemistry and function of the postpharyngeal gland in the South American digger wasps Trachypus boharti and Trachypus elongatus. PLoS ONE 8(12): e82780. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082780.

Schmid VS, Kaltenpoth M, Strohm E, Heinze J (2013) Worker self-restraint and policing maintain the queen's reproductive monopoly in a pseudomyrmecine ant. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67: 571-581.

Kautz S, Ballhorn DJ, Kroiss J, Pauls SU, Moreau CS, Eilmus S, Strohm E, Heil M (2012) Host plant use by competing Acacia-ants: Mutualists monopolize while parasites share hosts. PLoS ONE 7 (5): e37691. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037691.

Kaltenpoth M, Showers Corneli P, Dunn DM, Weiss RB, Strohm E, Seger J (2012) Accelerated evolution of mitochondrial but not nuclear genomes of Hymenoptera: New evidence from crabronid wasps. PLoS ONE 7 (3): e32826. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032826

Kaltenpoth M, Yildirim E, Gürbüz M, Herzner G, Strohm E (2012) Refining the roots of the beewolf-Streptomyces symbiosis: Antennal symbionts in the rare genus Philanthinus (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae). Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78 (3): 822-827

Weissel N, Mitesser O, Poethke HJ, Strohm E (2012) Availability and depletion of fat reserves in halictid foundress queens with a focus on solitary nest founding. Insectes Sociaux 59: 67-74.

Herzner G, Engl T, Strohm E (2011). The cryptic combat against competing microbes is a costly component of parental care in a digger wasp. Animal Behaviour 82: 321-328.

Herzner G, Ruther J, Goller S, Schulz S, Goettler W, Strohm E (2011) Structure, chemical composition and putative function of the postpharyngeal gland of the Emerald cockroach wasp, Ampulex compressa (Hymenoptera, Ampulicidae). Zoology 114: 36-45.

Strohm E (2011) How can cleptoparasitic drosophilid flies emerge from the closed brood cells of the red Mason bee? Physiological Entomology 36: 77-83

Radmacher S, Strohm E (2011) Effects of constant and fluctuating temperatures on the development of the solitary bee Osmia bicornis (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Apidologie 42 (6): 711-720.

Kaltenpoth M, Schmitt T, Polidori C, Koedam D, Strohm E (2010) Symbiotic streptomycetes in antennal glands of the South American digger wasp genus Trachypus (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae) Physiological Entomology 35, 196-200

Kroiss J, Lechner K, Strohm E (2010). Male territoriality and mating system of the European beewolf Philanthus triangulum F. (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae) – evidence for a "hot-spot" lek polygyny. Journal of Ethology 28: 295‑304 doi: 10.1007/s10164‑009‑0185‑5

Kroiss J, Kaltenpoth M, Schneider B, Schwinger M, Hertweck C, Maddula R, Strohm E, Svatoš A (2010). Symbiotic streptomycetes provide antimicrobial combination prophylaxis for wasp offspring. Nature Chemical Biology 6: 261‑263 doi: 10.1038NCHEMBIO.331

Roeser-Mueller K, Strohm E, Kaltenpoth M (2010). Larval rearing temperature influences amount and composition of the marking pheromone of the male beewolf (Philanthus triangulum). Journal of Insect Science 10:74, available online:

Strohm E, Kaltenpoth M, Herzner G (2010) Is the postpharyngeal gland of a solitary digger wasp homologous to ants? Evidence from chemistry and physiology. Insectes Sociaux 57:285-291.

Kaltenpoth M, Goettler W, Koehler S, Strohm E (2009) Life cycle and population dynamics of a protective insect symbiont reveal severe bottlenecks during vertical transmission. Evolutionary Ecology DOI 10.1007/s10682-009-9319-z.

Kaltenpoth M, Schmitt T, Strohm E (2009) Hydrocarbons in the antennal gland secretion of female European beewolves, Philanthus triangulum (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae). Chemoecology 19: 219-225

Kroiss J, Schmitt T, Strohm E (2009) Low level of cuticular hydrocarbons in a parasitoid of a solitary digger wasp and its potential for concealment. Entomological Science 12: 9-16

Kroiss J, Strohm E, Vandenbem C, Vigneron J-P (2009) An epicuticular multilayer generates the iridescent coloration in chrysidid wasps (Hymenoptera, Chrysididae). Naturwissenschaften 96: 983-986

Radmacher S, Strohm E (2009 online) Factors affecting offspring body size in the solitary bee Osmia bicornis (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae). Apidologie DOI: 10.1051/apido/2009064

Weil T, Hoffmann K, Kroiss J, Strohm E, Korb J (2009) Scent of a queen-cuticular hydrocarbons specific for female reproductives in lower termites. Naturwissenschaften 96:315-319

Goettler W, Strohm E (2008) Mandibular glands of male European Beewolves, Philanthus triangulum (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae). Arthropod Structure & Development 37: 363-371

Kroiss J, Bordon S, Strohm E (2008). Hydrocarbons in the nest material of a solitary digger wasp represent a kairomone for a specialized cuckoo wasp. Animal Behaviour 76: 1555-1563.

Herzner G, Strohm E (2008). Food wrapping by females of the European beewolf Philanthus triangulum retards water loss of larval provisions. Physiological Entomology 33: 101-109.

Strohm E, Herzner G, Kaltenpoth M, Boland W, Schreier P, Geiselhardt S, Peschke K, Schmitt T (2008). The chemistry of the postpharyngeal gland of female European beewolves (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology 34: 575-583.

Strohm E, Kroiss J, Herzner G, Laurien-Kehnen C, Boland W, Schreier P, Schmitt T (2008) A cuckoo in wolves' clothing? Chemical mimicry in a specialized cuckoo wasp of the European beewolf (Hymenoptera, Chrysididae and Crabronidae). Frontiers in Zoology 5:2.

Strohm E, Liebig J (2008) Why are so many bees but so few digger wasps social? The effect of the mode of provisioning and helper efficiency on the distribution of sociality among the Apoidea. In: Korb J, Heinze J, Eds.: Ecology of social evolution. Springer, Heidelberg.

Mitesser O, Weissel N, Strohm E, Poethke HJ (2007). Adaptive dynamic resource allocation in annual eusocial insects: Environmental variation will not necessarily promote graded control. BMC Ecology 7: 16

Mitesser O, Weissel N, Strohm E, Poethke HJ (2007). Optimal investment allocation in primetively eusocial bees: a balance model based on resource limitation of the queen. Insectes Sociaux 54: 234-241

Kaltenpoth M, Kroiss J, Strohm E (2007) The odor of origin: kinship and geographical distance are reflected in the marking pheromone of male beewolves (Philanthus triangulum F., Hymenoptera, Crabronidae). BMC Ecology 7:11.

Herzner G, Goettler W, Kroiss J, Purea A, Webb A, Jakob PM., Rössler W, Strohm E (2007) Males of a solitary wasp possess a postpharyngeal gland. Arthropod Structure & Development 36: 123-133.

Strohm E, Herzner G, Goettler W. (2007) A "social" gland in a solitary wasp? The postpharyngeal gland of female European beewolves (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae). Arthropod Structure & Development 36: 113-122.

Schmitt T, Herzner G, Weckerle B, Schreier P, Strohm E (2007). Volatiles of foraging honeybees Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and their potential role as semiochemicals. Apidologie 38 (2): 164-170.

Herzner G, Schmitt T, Peschke K, Hilpert A, Strohm E (2007). Food wrapping with the post pharyngeal gland secretion by females of the european beewolf Philanthus triangulum. Journal of Chemical Ecology 33 (4): 849-859.

Herzner G, Strohm E (2007). Fighting fungi with physics: food wrapping by a solitary wasp prevents water condensation. Current Biology 17: R46-R47.

Goettler W, Kaltenpoth M, Herzner G, Strohm E (2007) Morphology and ultrastructure of a bacteria cultivation organ: The antennal glands of female European beewolves, Philanthus triangulum (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae). Arthropod Structure & Development 36: 1-9.

Kroiss J, Schmitt T, Schreier P, Strohm E, Herzner G (2006). A selfish function of a social gland? A postpharyngeal gland functions as sex pheromone reservoir in males of a solitary wasp. Journal of Chemical Ecology 32: 2763-2776.

Weissel N, Mitesser O, Liebig J, Poethke HJ, Strohm E (2006) The influence of soil temperature on the nesting cycle of the halictid bee Lasioglossum malachurum. Insectes Sociaux 53 (4), 390-398.

Herzner, G., Schmitt, T., Heckel, F., Schreier, P. and Strohm, E. (2006). Brothers smell similar: Variation in the sex pherome of male European Beewolves and its implications for inbreeding avoidance. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 89: 433-442.

Kaltenpoth, M., Strohm, E. (2006). The scent of senescence: Age-dependent changes in the composition of the marking pheromone of male European beewolves (Philanthus triangulum, Hymenoptera, Crabronidae. Journal of Insect Science 6 (20), 1-9.

Mitesser O, Weissel N, Strohm E, Poethke HJ (2006) The evolution of activity breaks in the nest cycle of annual eusocial bees: A model of delayed exponential growth. BMC Evolutionary Biology 6 (45), 1-12.

Kaltenpoth, M., Göttler, W., Dale, C., Stubblefield, J.W., Herzner, G., Roeser-Mueller, K., and Strohm, E. (2006) 'Candidatus Streptomyces philanthi', an endosymbiotic streptomycete in the antennae of Philanthus digger wasps. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 56 (6): 1403-1411.

Herzner, G., Schmitt, T., Linsenmair, K. E. and Strohm, E. (2005). Prey recognition by females of the European beewolf and its potential for a sensory trap. Animal Behaviour 70, 1411-1418.

Kaltenpoth, M., Göttler, W., Herzner, G. and Strohm, E. (2005). Symbiotic bacteria protect wasp larvae from fungal infestation, Curr. Biol. 15, 475-479.

Kaltenpoth, M., Strohm, E. and Gadau, J. (2004). Polymorphic microsatellite markers for a solitary digger wasp, the European beewolf (Philanthus triangulum; Hymenoptera, Sphecidae), Mol. Ecol. Notes 4, 589-592.

Strohm, E. and Bordon-Hauser, A. (2003). Advantages and disadvantages of large colony size in a halictid bee: the queen's perspective, Behavioral Ecology 14, 546-553.

Strohm, E. and Daniels, W. (2003). Ultrastructure meets reproductive success: performance of a sphecid wasp is correlated with the fine structure of the flight-muscle mitochondria, Proc. R. Soc. Lond. Ser. B-Biol. Sci. 270, 749-754.

Schmitt, T., Strohm, E., Herzner, G., Bicchi, C., Krammer, G., Heckel, F. and Schreier, P. (2003). (S)-2,3-dihydrofarnesoic acid, a new component in cephalic glands of male european beewolves Philanthus triangulum, J. Chem. Ecol. 29, 2469-2479.

Herzner, G., Schmitt, T., Linsenmair, K. E. and Strohm, E. (2003). Flagellar sensilla in male and female European beewolves, Philanthus triangulum F. (Hymenoptera : Sphecidae), Entomol. Fenn. 14, 237-247.

Heil, M., Hilpert, A., Fiala, B., Bin Hashim, R., Strohm, E., Zotz, G. and Linsenmair, K. E. (2002). Nutrient allocation of Macaranga triloba ant plants to growth, photosynthesis and indirect defence, Funct. Ecol. 16, 475-483.

Strohm, E., Daniels, H., Warmers, C. and Stoll, C. (2002b). Nest provisioning and a possible cost of reproduction in the megachilid bee Osmia rufa studied by a new observation method, Ethol. Ecol. Evol. 14, 255-268.

Strohm, E. and Marliani, A. (2002). The cost of parental care: Prey hunting in a digger wasp, Behavioral Ecology 13, 52-58.

Strohm, E., Schmitt, T., Herzner, G. and Schreier, P. (2002a). Wolves in sheep's fur? Chemical camouflage in the European beewolf and its major brood parasitoid, Zoology Jena 105, 30.

Strohm, E. and Linsenmair, K. E. (2001). Females of the European beewolf preserve their honeybee prey against competing fungi, Ecological Entomology 26, 198-203.

Strohm, E. (2001). Females of the European beewolf preserve their larval provisions against competing fungi, Zoology Jena 103, 52.

Strohm, E., Laurien, K. C. and Bordon, S. (2001). Escape from parasitism: Spatial and temporal strategies of a sphecid wasp against a specialised cuckoo wasp, Oecologia Berlin 129, 50-57.

Strohm, E. and Lechner, K. (2000). Male size does not affect territorial behaviour and life history traits in a sphecid wasp, Animal Behaviour 59, 183-191.

Strohm, E. and Linsenmair, K. E. (2000). Allocation of parental investment among individual offspring in the European beewolf Philanthus triangulum F. (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae), Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 69, 173-192.

Strohm, E. (2000). Factors affecting body size and fat content in a digger wasp, Oecologia Berlin 123, 184-191.

Strohm, E. and Linsenmair, K. E. (1999). Measurement of parental investment and sex allocation in the European beewolf Philanthus triangulum F. (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae), Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 47, 76-88.

Strohm, E. and Linsenmair, K. E. (1998). Temperature dependence of provisioning behaviour and investment allocation in the European beewolf Philanthus triangulum F, Ecological Entomology 23, 330-339.

Strohm, E. and Linsenmair, K. E. (1997). Low resource availability causes extremely male-biased investment ratios in the European beewolf, Philanthus triangulum F. (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae), Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences 264, 423-429.

Strohm, E. and Linsemair, K. E. (1997). Female size affects provisioning and sex allocation in a digger wasp, Animal Behaviour 54, 23-34.

Strohm, E. (1995). Allokation elterlicher Investitionen beim Europäischen Bienenwolf Philanthus triangulum Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae). Berlin: Verlag Dr. Köster.

Strohm, E. and Linsenmair, K. E. (1994/95). Leaving the cradle: How beewolves (Philanthus triangulum F.) obtain the necessary spatial information for emergence, Zoology Jena 98, 137-146.