Nomada armata Herrich-Schäffer, 1839


Nomada rostrata Lepeletier, 1841; Nomada lanceolata Lepeletier, 1841; Nomada compta Lepeletier, 1841; Nomada kirbyella Stephens, 1846; Nomada cincticornis Nylander, 1848.

Description and notes

Certain Nomada species visit the same restricted flower species as those of their host bees. One such species is N. armata, which largely confines its flower visits to two species of scabious (see below).


Very rare and apparently declining, with the most recent records from near Oxford (in 1974) and a few sites on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire (since 1991; see Else & Roberts, 1994). Formerly recorded widely in southern England and south Wales. There are no Irish records of this species. Uncommon but widely distributed in Europe, the range extending from southern Finland to the south of France.

Status (in Britain only)

Listed as Endangered (RDB1) in Shirt (1987), a status with which Falk (1991) agrees. In view of recent findings from Salisbury Plain, the status may need revision.


Mainly open grassland, flying with its host bee, Andrena hattorfiana (Fabricius). The Nomada, however, is considerably rarer than the Andrena.

Flight period

Univoltine; late June to early August.

Nesting biology

A cleptoparasite of the mining bee Andrena hattorfiana (Bridgman, 1879; Hamm, 1901; Perkins, 1919, 1924). Females of this Nomada have been observed flying around the nesting burrows of the host bee (Else & Roberts, 1994).

Flowers visited

Field scabious (Knautia arvensis) and small scabious (Scabiosa columbaria). The bee has been swept from red bartsia (Odontites vernus) flowers (G M Spooner, pers. comm.).


None reported.

Author of profile

G R Else

Year profile last updated

Profile written: 2001

Proofed: February 2012