Definition of ‘rare’, ‘scarce’ or Red Data Book National Status

You will see some of these codes in the information I collect about the insects below is the categorisation and explanation

RDB 1 – species appear in the Red Data Book and are categorised as endangered;
RDB 2 – species appear in the Red Data Book and are categorised as vulnerable;
RDB 3 – species appear in the Red Data Book and are categorised as rare;
RDB K – species appear in the Red Data Book but the status is unknown, although they are thought to be rare;
pRDB 1 – species are likely to appear in the Red Data Book and be categorised as endangered;
pRDB 2 – species are likely to appear in the Red Data Book and be categorised as vulnerable;
pRDB 3 – species are likely to appear in the Red Data Book and be categorised as rare;
N – species are nationally notable and have been recorded in 16-100 ten kilometre squares in Great Britain.
Na – species are nationally notable and have been recorded in 16 – 30 ten kilometre squares in Great Britain;
Nb – species are nationally scarce and have been recorded in 31 – 100 ten kilometre squares in Great Britain


Gorytes laticinctus (Garden) rare


The rarest of the British species of Gorytes.


Recorded sparingly over southern England (Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Kent, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk). In the Channel Islands, found on Guernsey, Herm and Sark.

Status (in Britain only)
Listed as Rare (RDB3) in Shirt (1987) and by Falk (1991). The wasp may have declined, but it appears to have habits that render it somewhat elusive – few records have been submitted to the BWARS recorder.

Usually associated with rough vegetation such as brambles in open situations (heathland, scrub, coastal dunes, coastal landslips and soft rock cliffs), quarries and occasionally gardens. Typically observed running over brambles and other low herbage.

Flight period
Mid-June to mid-August.

Nesting biology
Nesting occurs in light soils. P F Yeo observed a female excavating nests in the soft mortar between paving stones in his Cambridgeshire garden. The female made several excavations each day. Hamm & Richards (1930) cite a foreign account of a nest in a flower-pot. The main nest tunnel extends about 10 cm down into the soil (at which point it may continue a small distance upwards), giving rise to 3-4 short side tunnels with terminal cells (Lomholdt, 1975-1976). The cells are stocked with auchenorhynchus bugs such as Philaenus spumarius, Cercopis spp. and Aphrophora alni.

Flowers visited
Umbellifers such as wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), carrot (Daucus carota), hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) and water-dropworts (Oenanthe sp.).

Stomorhina lunata (Lode walk) rare


Stomorhina lunata has long been recognized as an important egg-predator of locusts in many parts of Africa, but there has been little work on its biology or its importance in the natural control of locusts.


A rare migrant visitor to the uk few recorded sightings as you can see from the NBN Gateway map below


map (1)

Heriades truncorum (Cavenham heath NR) locally scares


At first I thought this was a Osmia sp of solitary bee, but I have just heard back of the ID guys and their first thought is Heriades truncorum which originally they only thought lived in a small area in Surrey. Until it had been found in a couple of other places.

This species has been confirmed and accepted by Irecord


A small elongate bee with distinctive terminal white hair bands on the abdomen; the female with an orange scopa. This species has always been considered scarce and associated with the commons of Surrey. It utilises resin in the making of the partitions of its nest and the assumption that this could only be provided by pines, combined with its apparent restriction to heaths, suggested to some that it must be an introduction to Britain. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when G R Else and I found a large population based at Thorney Island, with not a pine in sight! Not only this, but this population also had the specialist cleptoparasite Stelis breviuscula present. This latter bee had only been recently discovered in Britain at Iping Common by G R Else a year or two earlier. This story reveals the perils of believing that everything is already known about any particular species – West Sussex had been hardly visited by aculeate hymenopterists in the hundred years previous to G R Else and me taking an interest in the western section of the county…..BWARS


It could be the first recorded in East Anglia according the NBN map or the map just hasnt been updated since another find.

Record ID ..2394797

Message ..Your record of Heriades truncorum at TL74537217 on 22/08/2015 was examined by an expert Accepted

Record status ..Accepted

What does rare mean ?

When I have my insects id’d I usually get told the status , or  I look up information on that insect. But rare can mean several things.

  • That it’s numbers have dropped and that it is a threatened species like the Great Yellow Bumble bee, the numbers can drop because of dwindling habitat due to intensive farming , climate change etc
  • That the insect is new to the country and its numbers are still low, but these insects seem to be growing as climate change makes it possible for them to move further north.
  • That the insect has a very specific habitat that is only found in one or two places which then makes it nationally rare
  • Like honeybees / solitary bees a disease  / parasite / farm chemicals can have drastic consequences on their numbers
  • Under recording is another reason