Dufourea minuta Lepeletier,1841

Synonyms

Dufourea vulgaris Schenck, 1861

Description and notes

Dufourea minuta is the senior synonym of D. vulgaris Schenck, 1861 (Baker, 1994).

Distribution

Known only from old records from Surrey (Woking and Chobham), Dorset (Holt) and possibly Hampshire (Chewton, close to the county boundary with Dorset and a doubtful record from the New Forest) until rediscovered from South Essex (near West Tilbury, leg. M E Archer, 29 June 2007). It is the most widely distributed Dufourea in Europe, ranging from Finland south to the Pyrenees and east to the Urals. Also known from west Siberia and north-west China.

Status (in Britain only)

Classified as Endangered (RDB1) in both Shirt (1987) and Falk (1991).

Flight period

The species shows a preference for sandy soils.

Pollen collected

Oligolectic on Asteraceae, particularly yellow-flowered species.

Nesting biology

The nesting biology was described by Vasiljeva (1973). The bee nests in aggregations, each female digging a main burrow vertically to a depth of about 15 cm and constructing lateral branches, each leading to a cell. The cells are ovoid in form, apparently without a lining. The pollen is formed immediately into a rather dry ball and an egg laid. On completion of feeding, the larva spins a small, light brown cocoon.

Flowers visited

Only daisy - Asteraceae family flowers are known.

Parasites

No information available for Britain, but a Sphecodes is recorded in continental Europe.

Author of profile

G W Allen.

Year profile last updated

2012