Andrena trimmerana – RA1

The first time I have recorded it at this location

A Honey Bee-sized mining bee with two generations. The first typically flies from March until May and the second from late June until August. Female can be separated from A. scotica by the red patches at the sides of tergite 1 and the reddish basal sternites. In this respect they can resemble A. bimaculata (alongside which it sometimes flies) though it averages larger and the top of the propodeum lacks the rugosity of that species. Summer generation rosae is also very similar but has shorter hairs all over, especially on the tergites.

Spring generation males have a genal spine of variable size. They can be separated from spring generation rosae (which also have a genal spine) by the mostly dark abdomen and the lack of an apical tooth on the mandibles. Andrena ferox males with a genal spine can be separated by their yellow hind tibiae.

Andrena trimmerana is widespread and locally common along the southern coast of England and Wales and on southern chalk downland. It occurs more sparingly inland north to the Midlands (where it seem to be increasing) and there is a record for Cumbria.

A variety of habitats are used including soft rock cliffs, chalk downland, brownfield sites, farnland with blossom/bramble-rich hedges and occasionally urban greenspace. The spring generation forages heavily on sallows and Prunus species, the summer generation on brambles and umbellifers.

Helophilus trivittatus-Horningsea

Our largest Helophilus, indeed one of our largest hoverflies and usually instantly recognisable in the field by the pale lemon-yellow markings. It is the only Helophilus with a red rather than black stripe down the face, and the hind tibia is only pale at the base, like H. hybridus.

This is a widespread and often common species that seems to be prone to large influxes from the Continent. There is no clear habitat preference and it often turns up well away from potential breeding sites (it has aquatic rat-tailed larvae). Adults fly from May to October and are particularly keen on the flowers of thistles, Oxeye Daisy and brambles… Steven Falks

Macropis europaea (Yellow-loosestrife bee)

This medium-sized bee has a shiny black body with white hair bands on the apical tergites, two submarginal cells and very characteristic hind legs in both sexes. Those of the female have an entirely white-haired hind tibia that contrasts with the very broadened, black-haired basitarsus. The male hind legs are less hairy but very swollen. Males have yellow faces.

M. europaea is a wetland specialist usually found in fen, open carr, reedbeds, ditches and water margins where its pollen source, Yellow Loosestrife, is present. It collects both the pollen and floral oils of this plant, and uses the oils to waterproof its nests, which are often constructed along paths and banks that become seasonally flooded. It will also visit a variety of other flowers growing in and around wetlands for nectar e.g. thistles, bramble and bird’s-foot trefoils. Adults fly from July until early September.

Records are almost entirely confined to south-east England from Dorset to Norfolk.

Sphecodes sp- Lode

Specodes sp

Four new species of Sphecodes bees to add to the record on the lode-hornigsea field system.

  • Sphecodes rubicundus
  • Sphecodes ¬†ephippius
  • Sphecodes¬†geoffrellus
  • Sphecodes¬†longulus (which is tiny only a few mm long)
  • Already recorded is Sphecodes monilicornis

Lasioglossum laevigatum – Lode

New species for me

Distribution
Mainly confined to southern England, with a few records from further north. Not known from Scotland, Ireland or the Channel Islands. A local mining bee but sometimes abundant where found. A western Palaearctic species, the range extending from Britain to the Urals, and central Iberia to Iran.
Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.
Habitat
Particularly associated with calcareous grassland; occasionally open woodland on chalk, wooded heathland and fenland.
Flight period
Females from mid April to late September; males early July to September.
Nesting biology
Nesting habits are apparently largely unknown. In Germany, the species is stated to be “solitary” (i.e. non-social) (Westrich 1989).
Flowers visited
Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria), broom (Cytisus scoparius), plum (Prunus domestica), wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), wild carrot (Daucus carota), willow (Salix species), speedwell (Veronica species), guelder-rose (Viburnum opulus), tormentil (Potentilla erecta) and ragwort (Senecio species).

Lasioglossum morio – Lode

Lasioglossum morio

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.

Lasioglossum pauxillum-Lode

(not my photo the bee is so small and flighty I failed to get a photo a specimen was caught and keyed)

Lasioglossum_pauxillum_01_04-06-2015

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.