Nomada baccata Smith, F.,1844


Nomada laeta THOMSON 1870

Description and notes

One of the smaller and less frequently encountered Nomada species. Its unusual pattern of creamy-yellow spots on a cherry-red background is distinctive, as is its habit of flying rapidly over the surface of loose sand in July and August. Females can be picked out from the mêlée as they occasionally land, stroke the sand with their antennae and start digging. This activity signals them having found the nest-tracer scent of their host bee Andrena argentata Smith.


Mainly restricted to central southern England, also recorded from East Suffolk and the Channel Islands.

It is widely distributed in northern and central Europe.

Status (in Britain only)

This species is listed in Falk (1991) as Nationally Notable/Na (now known as Nationally Scarce).


Closely associated with sandy heathland. Although its host has been found away from heathland, it is never common in such situations and may not be sufficiently so to support a population of the Nomada.

Flight period

July to August.

Pollen collected

A cleptoparasitic species, it does not collect its own pollen.

Nesting biology

A specialist cleptoparasite of the bee Andrena argentata.

Flowers visited

Visits a wide variety of flowers.


No data available.

Author of profile

M Edwards.

Year profile last updated