Sphecodes rubicundus von Hagens,1875

Synonyms

Sphecodes hispanicus WESMAEL 1836; Sphecodes rufipes SMITH 1853; Sphecodes gibbus var. Tunetanus GRIBODO 1894; Sphecodes atrohirtus PÉREZ  1903

Description and notes

This species has also been known as S. ruficrus (Erichson) and S. rufiventris (Panzer), but both were misidentifications.

Distribution

Essentially, a southern species, found from Devon to Kent and north to West Suffolk. Also known from South Wales. Abroad, found throughout much of central and southern Europe, and western Asia.

Status (in Britain only)

Not mentioned in Shirt (1987), but listed by Falk (1991) as Notable A, (now known as Nationally Scarce Na).

Habitat

Found in old, herb-rich meadowland, and soft-rock coastal cliffs and landslips.

Flight period

Univoltine. Early May to mid-July. The males emerge in the spring rather than late summer or autumn; unusual for halictine bees including most Sphecodes. This flight period is in synchronization with that of the host: Andrena, rather than Lasioglossum or Halictus.

Pollen collected

As this is a cleptoparasite, pollen is not collected by the female.

Nesting biology

A cleptoparasite of Andrena labialis, with which it is usually recorded, and possibly, A. flavipes. The parasitic behaviour has not been well documented.

Flowers visited

The species has been reported visiting angelica (Angelica sylvestris), wild carrot (Daucus carota) and spurges (Euphorbia spp.) for nectar only.

Parasites

No information available.

Parasitic biology

A cleptoparasite of Andrena labialis with which it is usually recorded and possibly A. flavipes. The parasitic behaviour has not been well documented.

Author of profile

G. W. Allen

Year profile last updated

2006