A good record as this is a bit of a rarity according to the Natural History Museum expert who identified it for me.
No information on the Ichneumonidae.
The commonest of our four small, metallic-green/torquiose Lasioglossum species. Both sexes are most easily distinguished from the others by the densely punctate, dull scutum which has obvious microsculpture between the punctures. Some females of L.leucopus can difficult to separate, but morio has a duller thorax, duller hind margins to the upper part of the propodeum, and minute transverse ridges on the apical depression of tergite 2.
This is a widespread and often abundant species found in a wide range of habitats, where it exploits various flowers. It can sometimes be found nesting in the soft mortar walls.
It is a host of the cleptoparastic bee Sphecodes niger and possibly S. geoffrellus and Nomada sheppardana; also the conopid fly Thecophora atra.
(not my photo the bee is so small and flighty I failed to get a photo a specimen was caught and keyed)
Historically this was a scarce species of southern England but it has shown a substantial increase in the 21st century, expanding its range over much of central England. It occurs in a wide range of dry habitats but perhaps especially calcareous grasslands and brownfield sites. Various flowers and spring blossoms are visited. A possible host of Sphecodes crassus and S. ferruginatus.
Specimen taken and keyed
Southern England and the Channel Islands. Formerly a scarce and very local species but, since about 1990, it has been extending its range in England and is common to locally abundant in many sites in the southern counties. Widely distributed in the western Palaearctic, its range extending from Denmark to the Azores and North Africa (Morocco), eastwards throughout central and southern Europe to Iran.
Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.
Coastal cliffs and landslips, abandoned quarries, commons, chalk grassland and private gardens.
Females from early April to October; males from early July to the beginning of October. G M Spooner (pers. comm.) found several active gynes on the Dorset coast in mid-February.
Commonly nests in aggregations, occasionally of considerable extent, especially in exposed soil at the base of coastal cliffs and similar unstable locations where vegetation is sparse. Nest burrows are often observed in the hard trodden soil of footpaths. Sites at the top of beaches are sometimes deluged by sea water during winter storms. A well known eusocial species, its development being one of the most extensively documented of any Palaearctic halictine species. Important references include Stoeckhert (1923), Legewie (1925), Noll (1931), Bonelli (1948), Michener (1974) and Westrich (1989). The worker is smaller than the gyne and was originally described as a distinct species, Halictus longulus Smith, 1848.
Includes cinquefoil (Potentilla spp.), colt’s-foot (Tussilago farfara), common fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica), creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), hawkweed (Hieraceum spp.), mayweed (Tripleurospermum spp.), oxtongue (Picris echioides), stonecrop (Sedum spp.) and wild parsnip (Pastinacea sativa).
L Packer (pers. comm.) has excavated the cleptoparasite, Sphecodes monilicornis (Kirby) and larvae of the oil beetle Meloe proscarabaeus Linnaeus from nest burrows of this bee on the Isle of Wight.
Specimen taken and will be keyed out ..
Description and notes
One of the largest British halictine bees with a body length often over 10 mm. It is a distinctive bee with strong white pubescent bands on the apices of the abdominal segments and yellow-orange legs in both sexes.
Widely distributed throughout Britain and known from Ireland (Antrim). It is rarely abundant at any one locality in the south, but is frequently encountered in dense nesting aggregations in northern Britain. The species occurs in both the Palaearctic and the Nearctic regions, where it is largely confined to temperate habitats.
Status (in Britain only)
This bee is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.
Often present in a wide variety of habitats. Nests are usually made in areas of vertical or sloping bare ground with a southern aspect (Potts & Wilmer 1998). No other habitat limitations known.
The species is eusocial, with queens emerging from hibernation in April, workers present from May onwards and males and new females from July to early October. There have been suggestions that two generations of sexuals are produced in some years (G M Spooner, pers. comm.).
Nests are made in the ground and may be single or in aggregations. Individual nests support a small eusocial population, founded by a mated queen in the spring. This queen rears a small number of workers and then the colony produces new males and females at the end of the summer.
The bee may be found visiting a wide range of flower species, but is probably most often found at those of the Asteraceae.
Two cleptoparasitic bees attack this species: Sphecodes gibbus and S. monilicornis. It is also recorded as being attacked by the conopid fly Zodion cinereum (K G V Smith 1969).