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
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Nomada leucophthalma (Ratlinghope)

Distribution
Widely distributed and generally locally common throughout much of the British Isles. It is, however, inexplicably very scarce in Kent (G W Allen, pers. comm.) and Essex (P Harvey, pers. comm.). The range extends north to central Scotland (Renfrew, Midlothian and West Perthshire) and includes the Isle of Man. It is also widespread in Ireland. There are no records of the species from the Channel Islands. In Europe it is mainly found in the north (reaching northern Finland), with only scattered records from further south.
Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.
Habitat
Found with the host bee in open woodland, on heaths and moors (ascending to 300 m on Dartmoor, Devon).
Flight period
Univoltine; early March to mid-May.
Nesting biology
A cleptoparasite of Andrena apicata (Perkins, 1919, 1943, 1945; Chambers, 1949) and A. clarkella (Perkins, 1919). Often observed in the vicinity of the nest burrows of these two species of mining bees, especially A. clarkella.
Flowers visited
Barren strawberry, bilberry, dandelion and sallow.

Nomada lathburiana (Lode)

Discription
Length 8mm. One of the black and yellow banded Nomada species, N. lathburiana also has red markings on the body.
Habitat
Around the nesting sites of its host Andrena cineraria.
When to see it
Seen from April to June.
Life History
UK Status
Nomada lathburiana was a Red Data Book species but seems to be fairly frequent, and increasing in numbers along with its host Andrena cineraria, suggesting that its status may be secure.

Bombus (Psithyrus) barbutellus-St Davids

Distribution
This species is distributed widely throughout most of the area covered by this Atlas, but is rarely common. It is widespread in Europe; middle and northern latitudes of Asia, and eastwards to Mongolia (Løken 1973).

Status (in Britain only)
This bee is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.

Habitat
This cuckoo-bee occurs in a wide variety of habitats.

Flight period
Over-wintered females can be found from late April onwards, males and new females in July to September.

Pollen collected
As this bee is parasitic it does not collect pollen, although females eat pollen in order to develop their ovaries. Foraging for pollen for the nest is carried out by the host workers.

Nesting biology
During spring the over-wintered, fertilised female B. barbutellus searches for a small nest of the host bumblebee, B. hortorum. It enters the nest and eventually dominates, or kills the host queen. The parasite female then lays eggs which will develop into either males or females of B. barbutellus. All foraging and nest duties are carried out by the host workers. It is likely that this species will also attack B. ruderatus.

Flowers visited
Visits are made to a wide variety of flowers.

Epeolus cruciger (cuckoobee) Cavenham heath NR

Distribution
Widely distributed throughout much of southern and central Britain (becoming scarcer in the northern part of its range) and locally common, at least in many southern sites. It is also known from Jersey (Grosnez Point, 1989, M E Archer, pers. comm.). There is a specimen collected on 8th July, 1899 at Irvine Moor, Ayr, in The Natural History Museum, London, which may be this species, but it is in too poor a condition to be certain. The species has not been found in Ireland. Widespread in Europe, occurring as far north as central Finland.

Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.

Habitat
Inland heaths (where it is often common) and moors; also coastal sand dunes and undercliffs.

Flight period
Univoltine; end of June to late September. A small form associating with Colletes marginatus flies earlier in the season, in June and July… BWARS