Hylaeus brevicornis Nylander,1852


Prosopis pygmaea (SCHENCK 1853); Prosopis rubicola (SMITH 1871); Hylaeus discretus FÖRSTER 1871; Hylaeus atratulus FÖRSTER 1871; Hylaeus nigritarsis MORAWITZ 1876; Hylaeus minuta FABRICIUS, sensu ALFKEN 1913; Hylaeus brevicornis sardoa ALFKEN 1934; Hylaeus parvulus JANVIER 1972


A common species found throughout much of lowland Britain from Kent to the Isles of Scilly, and northwards to Kirkcudbrightshire. There are remarkably few records from Wales, where the species may be under-recorded. Also known from the Isle of Man, Scilly and the Channel Islands. In Ireland it is widely distributed, mainly in the eastern and southern counties. Widely distributed throughout much of Europe, north Africa (see distribution map in Koster (1986a)), the Middle East, the Caucasus, Iran and in Japan (as H. perforator).

Status (in Britain only)

This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.


Found in woodland, fenland, calcareous grassland, heathland and on the coast.

Flight period

Late May to mid-September. In France this bee is reported to have two or three generations a year (Janvier, 1972), and the same may occur in the British Isles, at least in the southern part of its range.

Pollen collected

Polylectic, including dock and species of the families Apiaceae, Fabaceae and Rosaceae (Chambers, 1949; Danks, 1971).

Nesting biology

Specimens have been reared several times from dead bramble (Rubus) stem-nests (Danks, 1971; G R Else, pers. obs.). The nesting habits, nests and prepupae have been described in detail by Danks (1971).

Flowers visited

These include bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.), sea-holly (Eryngium maritimum), wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), wild carrot (Daucus carota), sea spurge (Euphorbia paralias), bog pimpernel (Anagallis tenella), thyme (Thymus sp.), sheep's-bit (Jasione montana), ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense) and beaked hawk's-beard (Crepis vesicaria).


The ichneumonid wasp Hoplocyrtus bellosus (as H. signatorius) and a eurytomid wasp in the genus Eurytoma have been reared from nests of this bee (Danks, 1971). The first species was also reared from stem-nests of this bee by Field & Foster (1988), though it was erroneously cited by them as Perithous divinator.

Author of profile

G R Else.

Year profile last updated


Proofed January 2012