Another new bee it’s been a bumper year this year for new finds
Widespread in southern Britain, being found from the Isles of Scilly to East Kent and north to Yorkshire and in Wales but not in Scotland or the Isle of Man. It is known from the Channel Islands but only from Jersey. Recorded from Ireland in O’Connor et al. (2009).
Abroad, a western Palaearctic species, found from Western Europe east to Iran, north to southern Sweden and south to Iberia and Crete; accidentally introduced into the Azores (A W Ebmer, pers. comm.).
Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as scarce or threatened.
A woodland edge species, sometimes found in gardens in southern Britain, also from grasslands, ruderal habitats and orchards.
Probably univoltine. The female flies from early March to late October; the male, from mid July to mid October.
Believed to be a solitary mining bee but the nesting behaviour is apparently unrecorded.
Flower visits are mainly to Asteraceae, including dandelions, but other families are also used, including Rosaceae, Ranunculaceae, Salicaceae and Ericaceae.
The cleptoparasitic bees Sphecodes ephippius (Linnaeus) and Sphecodes puncticeps Thomson are reputed to parasitise this bee.
For more information please see a previous post of a female H dilatatus HERE
Another new species to me
Hylaeus confusus and the much rarer H. incongruus form a species pair, the females of which are are difficult to separate. Males of bothe species have the mandibles streaked with white (like H. dilatatus which has very different antennal scapes) and are easily distinguished from each other by the colour of the labrum (black in confusus, white in incongruus). H. confusus also has the underside of the antennae reddish (black in the limited incongruus material I’ve seen).
Female confusus has a more rounded head (front view) than H. incongruus with smaller yellow spots on the face which are well separated from the antennal insertion sockets. The central black zone of the face is wider (or shorter) than in incongruus. The areas of the frons immediately above the antennal insertions are textured much like the rest of the frons without the semi-shining zones of incongruus.
H. confusus is fairly common on the south of England but has a patchy distribution in the north. It extends as far north as the Inverness area. It exploits a wide range of habitats and is specially fond of woodland rides and clearings. Adults fly from June until August and visit a variety of flowers, with no obvious preferences. Nesting occurs in hollow plant stems, dead wood and even old Oak Marble Galls (check).
This is another first for me and while it is down as Andrena marginata which it is , it comes in two colour forms the dark like mine or a orange abdomen form they are now doing a DNA test on species collected to see if they are two separate species , both only feed on small scabious
A medium-sized mining bee with dark males but females that can have a mainly red abdomen or a dark one (with a full range of intermediates). Males have the lower face whitish with two small black spots, and the lower margin of the clypeus is strongly out-curved and ending in sharp points. Both sexes have the lower hind corners of the head strongly angulated.
Most records are within southern England and South Wales, extending as far north as Lincolnshire (though entirely absent from the Midlands). A small number of sites are known in the Scottish Highlands, and there are also some Irish records. The modern strongholds include Salisbury Plain and the East Anglian Brecks and it has declined substantially over most of its former range.
A. marginata requires scabious-rich habitats, including chalk grassland, coastal grasslands, heathland, moorland edge and woodland rides. On calcareous sites, it obtains its pollen mainly from Field and Small scabiouses and peaks in late July and early August. On more acidic sites (including all its Scottish sites) it forages on Devil’s-bit Scabious and peaks in late August and early September to coincide with the later flowering of this plant.
Nesting has not been observed in Britain but is presumed to occur in light, sparsely-vegetated ground or short turf. It is the special host of the rare cleptoparasitic nomad bee Nomada argentata. It is a conservation priority species.
Anthidium manicatum – Wool-carder bee carding the fluff off lambs ears.
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.
Hoplitis claviventris having a rest on my pooter.
Widely distributed but usually uncommon throughout much of southern England and in south Wales (where it is largely coastal); much more sporadic in the Midlands, East Anglia and northern England. There are no records from Scotland, Ireland or the Channel Islands. Widely distributed throughout much of Europe, from Fennoscandia south to central Iberia, Corsica, Sardinia, and eastwards to Greece and Russia.
Status (in Britain only)
This is classified as a Nationally Notable (Nb) species (Falk, 1991).
The species has been recorded from a wide range of habitats, including, for example, open broad-leaved woodland, heathland edge, chalk grassland and the coast.
Univoltine; late May to late August (rarely September).
Many nests of this bee have been found in dead stems, where the females had excavated the pith to form nesting burrows. Such stems included bramble, rose and ragwort. A nest has even been found in a buried bramble stem (Perkins, 1886). Other nest sites have been a buried, decaying root (Perkins, 1923); burrows in an old paling (Arnold, 1903); a burrow in the soil (Saunders, 1896); a small piece of dead pine branch lying on the ground (M Edwards, pers. comm.); and, on the Continent, an empty gall of the chloropid fly Lipara lucens on a reed stem (Blüthgen, 1919). The cells are separated from one another by partitions of leaf mastic, which is green when freshly made but later assumes a brownish-black colour. The inner surface of the nest burrow, rather than a layer of leaf mastic, forms the side walls of the cells. When full grown the larvae spin thin, semi-transparent silken cocoons in which the winter is passed; pupation takes place in the spring.
Buttercup, red clover, bird’s-foot-trefoil, horseshoe vetch, heaths, field scabious, hawk’s-beard and dandelion.
The cleptoparasitic megachiline bee Stelis ornatula has been reared on several occasions from British nests of H. claviventris. The ichneumon wasp Hoplocryptus bellosus has also been reared in this country from stem-nests of the Hoplitis (Danks, 1971, as H. signatorius).