A moderately sized moth with tawny or olive brown and straw coloured forewings, with a broad whitish central band, pinched in the middle and with a neat chequered fringe.Usually seen by day flying in sunshine during mid summer or nectaring on flowers and is particularly fond of Knapweed and Ragwort. Also flies at night.
This may be the first recording of Melitta haemorrhoidalis in Cambridge its self
Status (in Britain only)
The bee is not regarded as scarce or being threatened.
The species is often locally common on calcareous grassland, but has been reported from coastal sites, fens and open woodland.
Univoltine; early June to late August or early September. As with all British Hylaeus, the females are often long lived (the males having a considerably shorter adult life).
The species has been reared on several occasions from burrows in dead bramble and rose stems in which the pith has been exposed (pers. obs.). There are additional records from other dead stems such as dock and mugwort (Smith 1876; Peeters, Raemakers, & Smit 1999, respectively). O W Richards (1930) observed the bee nesting in burrows in rotten fence posts.
Bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.), cinquefoil (Potentilla sp.), common fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica), creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense), field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), pale toadflax (Linaria repens), sea spurge (Euphorbia paralias), wild carrot (Daucus carota) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium).
The gasteruptiid wasp Gasteruption assectator has been reared from nests of H. dilatatus in mainland Europe (Höpper 1904) and may parasitise this species in Britain…BWARS
Another type of biting Deerfly again caught on the back of my neck !!
Length 8 to 10.5 mm. A stoutly-built insect. The patterning may vary slightly but there are always black lobes on the second abdominal segment. There are other similar species and care needs to be taken with identification.
It’s preferred habitat is damp floodplain meadows, it will use other moist areas and woodland, particularly if there is mud or soft wet ground close by.
When to see it
May to September.
The adults can give humans a painful bite, and the females suck the blood of grazing animals, whilst males feed on flower pollen. The larvae feed upon organic matter in damp soils, and are termed hydrobionts in that they inhabit areas of high water content.
Fairly frequent and widespread in Britain.
Length 9 to 11 mm. Proboscis length 4.5 mm. A wasp mimic with a black abdomen that has narrow bands of yellow. Hind femora of this species have a prominent dark band around the middle.
A species of wet meadows.
When to see it
June to August.
Larvae are internal parasites of bumblebees.
Widespread in southern Britain.
Yet another first for me since specifically going out to look for one type of bee.
Description and notes
Of the three species of Macropis which occur in western Europe, only one, M. europaea, is found in Britain. This species is unique in this country for having females which provision their nests with fatty floral oils, in addition to pollen.
Status (in Britain only)
Listed as Rare (RDB3) in Shirt (1987), and as Nationally Notable (Na) in Falk (1991). Work for this Atlas suggests that its status should be reviewed.
Wetland sites supporting the main forage plant, yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris). Hence this bee is to be found in fens, bogs and alongside rivers and canals.
Univoltine; mid July to early September, the flight period being very closely synchronised with the flowering of the main host plant.
Nest burrows are excavated in the soil, generally in banks or slopes. The burrow entrances are usually well concealed by overhanging vegetation and are thus rarely observed Nests normally occur in loose aggregations (M Edwards and S Falk, pers. comm.). Nests have been described by both Malyshev (1929) and Phipps (1948) (both as M. labiata). These authors noted that the cells were lined with a yellowish wax-like, waterproof substance which may have been derived from yellow loosestrife floral oil. Larvae and pupae have been described by Rozen & McGinley (1974).
In addition to the forage species listed above, the bee has been observed visiting (as nectar sources) bird’s-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.), tormentil (Potentilla erecta), agrimony (Agrimonia sp.), great willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum), hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), mint (Mentha sp.), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense), knapweed (Centaurea sp.), rough hawkbit (Leontodon hispidum), sow-thistle (Sonchus sp.), water chickweed (Myosoton aquaticum) and water-plantain (Alisma lanceolata)…BWARS
you can’t imagine the amount of bird poops I’ve looked at thinking it was one of these beetles , which proves its bird poop camouflage works
This is truly an odd looking creature and could hardly be confused with anything else. The mix of dark and light areas on the elytra may vary, but the general appearance does not – the ‘face’ is always lighter due to a covering of pale hairs. Also known as the Cramp-ball Fungus Weevil.
When to see it
June and July are peak times for the adult.
The larvae develop inside the black fungus known as King Alfred’s Cakes or Cramp Balls (Daldinia concentrica).
It is not quite as scarce as its common name would suggest. British records come mainly from England around a line from the Humber to the Severn.