Sphecodes reticulatus Thomson,1870

Synonyms

Sphecodes distinguendus VON HAGENS 1874

Description and notes

Distribution

Widely distributed in England, from Dorset to Kent and north to Lincolnshire. Also recorded from the Channel Islands (Sark).

Status (in Britain only)

Listed as Rare (RDB3) in Shirt (1987) and as Notable A by Falk (1991).

Habitat

This Sphecodes has been found in a variety of habitats on light soils, including sandy heath, soft rock cliffs, sandpits and occasionally on calcareous grassland (Falk 1991).

Flight period

Late May to mid September, but there is no information available on the flight periods of the two sexes.

Pollen collected

As this is a cleptoparasitic bee, no pollen is collected.

Nesting biology

The parasitic behaviour has not been observed and the host has not been ascertained. The parasite has been captured near burrows of Lasioglossum prasinum on sandy heath but is found outside the range of this mining bee. Some Andrena species have been implicated as hosts, including A. argentata, A. dorsata (second brood) and A. barbilabris.

Flowers visited

Apiaceae and Asteraceae are visited for nectar only in Britain, whilst abroad, heather has additionally been found to be used.

Parasites

No information available.

Author of profile

G W Allen.

Year profile last updated

Profile written:

Proofed: January 2012