Another regular to the garden, I get a few different colour variations of these from all black to black and beige.
Its great to see the early mining bee back again, pictured above is a female , notice her very light hairy rear legs and below is a male , notice the hairy face and lack of hoar on the rear legs
For more information please see my first blog entry of this bee HERE
11-13 mm with a shiny coppery green appearance. There are four Poecilis species in Britain but only two are common and likely to be found in Leicestershire and Rutland. Poecilis cupreus is distinguished from the similar P. versicolor by having fine punctuations on its head between its eyes. In P. versicolor, the head is completely smooth and unpunctured. P. cupreus also prefers dryer habitats. Poecilis is distinguished as a genus by the keel on the basal antennal segments.
Prefers open, dry habitats with short grass e.g. parkland and agricultural fields but also occasionally in woodland.
When to see it
Most likely to be seen in spring and summer
It is a general predator. Breeds in spring
Common but local across southern England and south Wales as far south as the Wash with scattered records south to Scotland
Gonocerus acuteangulatus Box Bug
A relatively large reddish-brown squashbug, distinguished from the commoner Coreus marginatus by the narrower abdomen and more pointed lateral extremities of the pronotum. Nymphs have a green abdomen.
Historically very rare (RBD1) and known only from Box Hill in Surrey, where it feeds on Box trees, this bug is expanding its range and now occurs widely in the south-east of England and beyond. It is exploiting different foodplants, and has been found on hawthorn, buckthorn, yew and plum trees.
A male mason bee
For more information click HERE
There are nearly 30 species of Nomada bees in the UK. Also known as cuckoo bees, they are cleptoparasites of various Andrena bee species, in that they “steal” their nests and lay their own eggs in the brood chamber. When the Nomada larvae hatch they will then kill the egg or larvae of the host bee and consumer the pollen stores .
Social insect colonies contain attractive resources for many organisms. Cleptoparasites sneak into their nests and steal food resources. Social parasites sneak into their social organisations and exploit them for reproduction. Both cleptoparasites and social parasites overcome the ability of social insects to detect intruders, which is mainly based on chemoreception. Here we compared the chemical strategies of social parasites and cleptoparasites that target the same host and analyse the implication of the results for the understanding of nestmate recognition mechanisms. The social parasitic wasp Polistes atrimandibularis (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), and the cleptoparasitic velvet ant Mutilla europaea (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae), both target the colonies of the paper wasp Polistes biglumis (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). There is no chemical mimicry with hosts in the cuticular chemical profiles of velvet ants and pre-invasion social parasites, but both have lower concentrations of recognition cues (chemical insignificance) and lower proportions of branched alkanes than their hosts. Additionally, they both have larger proportions of alkenes than their hosts. In contrast, post-invasion obligate social parasites have proportions of branched hydrocarbons as large as those of their hosts and their overall cuticular profiles resemble those of their hosts. These results suggest that the chemical strategies for evading host detection vary according to the lifestyles of the parasites. Cleptoparasites and pre-invasion social parasites that sneak into host colonies limit host overaggression by having few recognition cues, whereas post-invasion social parasites that sneak into their host social structure facilitate social integration by chemical mimicry with colony members.