Nomada leucophthalma (revised ID) type of cuckoo bee



This is a revised ID for this photo which was posted last year BWARS have said it is more than likely a Nomada leucophthalma .. again as I have posted before , it can be hard to ID some bees without a microscope and dissection.

This is a large cuckoo bee (12 mm) with dark red, orange-tipped antennae (instead of just orange in the case of Nomada flava) and dark legs. It has a yellow and black striped abdomen with a red band at the front. It also has a thick pile of orange hair on the mesonotum.
Similar Species
It is similar to N. flava and others, but the dark antenna and legs plus the early flying season help to distinguish this N. leocophthalma.
It favours hedgerows and meadows, where it searches for the nest holes of Andrena clarkella in which to lay its eggs, and feeds on nectar from flowers such as Colt’s-foot.
When to see it
The adult is on the wing early in the year – from March to May.
Life History
It is a parasite of the small bee Andrena clarkella.
UK Status
Fairly frequent and widespread in southern Britain.

Information form Nature spot


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