Chelostoma florisomne (Linnaeus,1758)

Synonyms

Apis maxillosa LINNAEUS 1767; Chelostoma culmorum LEPELETIER 1841; Heriades parumcrinitus ALFKEN 1932

Description and notes

A larger version of the more frequently encountered C. campanularum; of the same general long, thin cylindrical shape, but with distinctive white bands of short hairs on the apices of the abdominal segments.The males also have a two-pronged peg on the final segment of the abdomen and this may be used in the same way as that on the males of C. campanularum. However, I have only ever found males curled up around the base of the stamens of buttercups during poor weather, apparently relying on the closure of the petals to shelter them.

Distribution

More widely distributed than its sister species, being found throughout England and Wales.There are no substantiated records for Scotland or the Channel Islands. It is, however, sporadic in occurrence. Widespread in Europe, and is also found in North Africa.

Status (in Britain only)

This bee is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.

Habitat

Most often associated with the interface between woodland and meadow where buttercups are present. It has been recorded nesting in thatch, but is not a regularly-found bee in gardens.

Flight period

Univoltine; May to July.

Pollen collected

Oligolectic on Ranunculaceae. It is notable as one of the few bees ever to be found in the flowers of this plant family.

Nesting biology

Nests in old beetle burrows in dead wood, this may be quite firm, or fairly rotten, as long as it is in the sun. It may also use thatch and possibly similar, naturally-occurring cavities, such as old reed-stems, elsewhere.

Flowers visited

Very strongly associated with the flowers of Ranunculus.

Parasites

The Sapygid wasp Monosapyga clavicornis is well-known to be associated with this bee.The Evaniid wasp Gasteruption jaculator, a general parasitoid of wood-nesting aculeates, has been reared from nests of C. florisomne.

Author of profile

M Edwards.

Year profile last updated

Profile written:

Proofed: January 2012