Halictus scabiosae (Rossi, 1790)

Synonyms

Apis scabiosae Rossi, 1790, Hylaeus alternans Fabricius, 1793, Halictus zebrus Walckenaer, 1817, Halictus griseozonatus Dours, 1872, Halictus scabiosae powelli Cockerell, 1931

Description and notes

BWARS has not yet prepared a species account for this species. The notes here are copied from Steven Falk's Flickr page for H. scabiosae with distribution details from Guernsey Biological records Centre.

 

Distribution

H. scabiosae has been recorded from the Channel Islands, but not from mainland Britain.

It was first recorded in Jersey in 1902 (Richards, 1979) and was first recorded in Guernsey in 1998, where it had a largely coastal distribution.

 

 

Identification

This Honey Bee-sized Halictus is easily distinguished by the ring-like bands on the tergites. These comprise an anterior and posterior buff band on tergites 2-4 of the females and just a whitish posterior band on segments 2-6 of the very elongate males. The male hind tibiae is almost entirely yellow without the dark marks of species like H. eurygnathus or H. quadricinctus.

Habitat

Nesting aggregations are formed in light soils, especially the vertical faces of soft rock cliffs.

 

Flight period

Hibernated females appear in April, males and new females in July.

Nesting biology

It can be eusocial in some instances (with smaller non-reproducing females acting as workers) or simply communal (with no apparent workers) in others.

Flowers visited

It forages on assorted flowers but with a particular liking for Asteraceae (e.g. thistles, knapweeds, Catsear).